Benefit of doubt.


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By Dr. Y. Srinivasa Rao, Judge.

“The benefit of doubt to which the accused is entitled is reasonable doubt — the doubt which rational thinking men will reasonably, honestly and conscientiously entertain and not the doubt of a timid mind which fights shy — though unwittingly it may be — or is afraid of the logical consequences, if that benefit was not given; or as one great Judge said it is ‘not the doubt of a vacillating mind that has not the moral courage to decide but shelters itself in a vain and idle skepticism,” State of U.P. v. Iftikhar Khan, (1973) 1 SCC 512. If the said evidence really raises a reasonable doubt in the mind of the court regarding the participation in the crime by the first respondent, that doubt must be resolved in his favour. It was quoted in Himachal Pradesh Administration v. Om Prakash: 

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