Section 10, Indian Evidence Act, 1872: Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common design.
Things said or done by conspirator in reference to common design.—Where there is reasonable ground to believe that two or more persons have conspired together to commit an offence or an actionable wrong, anything said, done or written by any one of such persons in reference to their common intention, after the time when such intention was first entertained by any one of them, is a relevant fact as against each of the persons believed to so conspiring, as well for the purpose of proving the existence of the conspiracy as for the purpose of showing that any such person was a party to it. Illustration Reasonable ground exists for believing that A has joined in a conspiracy to wage war against the 1[Government of India]. The facts that B procured arms in Europe for the purpose of the conspiracy, C collected money in Calcutta for a like object, D persuaded persons to join the conspiracy in Bombay, E published writings advocating the object in view at Agra, and F transmitted from Delhi to G at Kabul the money which C had collected at Calcutta, and the contents of a letter written by H giving an account of the conspiracy, are each relevant, both to prove the existence of the conspiracy, and to prove A’s complicity in it, although he may have been ignorant of all of them, and although the persons by whom they were done were strangers to him, and although they may have taken place before he joined the conspiracy or after he left it. Comments Existence of conspiracy If prima facie evidence of existence of a conspiracy is given and accepted, the evidence of acts and statements made by anyone of the conspirators in furtherance of the common object is admissible against all; Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal v. State of Tamil Nadu, AIR 2005 SC 716. Object Section 10 has been deliberately enacted in order to make acts and statements of a co-conspirator admissible against the whole body of conspirators, because of the nature of crime; Badri Rai v. State of Bihar, AIR 1958 SC 953. Significance of “common intention” The words “common intention” signify a common intention existing at the time when the thing was said, done or written by the one of them. It had noting to do with carrying the conspiracy into effect; Mirza Akbar v. Emperor, AIR 1940 PC 176.
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