The Supreme Court of India in the decision reported as State v. Nalini, (1999) 5 SCC 253 while discussing the concept of conspiracy observed in sub para 7 of para 583:
A charge of conspiracy may prejudice the accused because it forces them into a joint trial and the court may consider the entire mass of evidence against every accused. Prosecution has to produce evidence not only to show that each of the accused has knowledge of the object of conspiracy but also of the agreement.
In the charge of conspiracy the court has to guard itself against the danger of unfairness to the accused. Introduction of evidence against some may result in the conviction of all, which is to be avoided.
By means of evidence in conspiracy, which is otherwise inadmissible in the trial of any other substantive offence prosecution tries to implicate the accused not only in the conspiracy itself but also in the substantive crime of the alleged conspirators.
There is always difficulty in tracing the precise contribution of each member of the conspiracy but then there has to be cogent and convincing evidence against each one of the accused charged with the offence of conspiracy.
As observed by Judge Learned Hand
“this distinction is important today when many prosecutors seek to sweep within the dragnet of conspiracy all those who have been associated in any degree whatever with the main offenders”.
Important Supreme Court Judgments
- K.R. Purushothaman v. State of Kerala, (2005) 12 SCC 631
- Esher Singh v. State of A.P., (2004) 11 SCC 585
- Saju v. State of Kerala, (2001) 1 SCC 378
- State v. Nalini, (1999) 5 SCC 253
- Kehar Singh v. State (Delhi Admn.), (1988) 3 SCC 609
- V.C. Shukla v. State (Delhi Admn.), (1980) 2 SCC 665
- Noor Mohd. Mohd. Yusuf Momin v. State of Maharashtra, (1970) 1 SCC 696
- Sardar Sardul Singh Caveeshar v. State of Maharashtra, AIR 1965 SC 682
- Sardul Singh Caveeshar v. State of Bombay, AIR 1957 SC 747
- Mirza Akbar v. King Emperor, AIR 1940 PC 176
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