133. Accomplice.

An accomplice shall be a competent witness against an accused person; and a conviction is not illegal merely because it proceeds upon the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice.


Accomplice need not be judged by independent evidence-

Every detail of the story of the accomplice need not be confirmed by independent evidence although some additional independent evidence must be looked for to see whether the approver is speaking the truth and there must be some evidence, direct or circumstantial which connects the co-accused with the crime independently of the accomplice.
Related Case- Haroon Haji v. State of Maharashtra, 1968

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Culpability of Accomplice-

The extent of culpability of the accomplice in an offence is not material so long as the Magistrate tendering pardon believes that the accomplice was involved directly or indirectly in to the offence. the Act provides that an accomplice shall be a competent witness against an accused person and when the pardon is tendered to an accomplice under section 306 of the Cr.P.C., the accomplice is removed from the category of co-accused and put in the category of witness and the evidence of such a witness as an accomplice can be the basis of conviction as provided in section of the Indian Evidence Act.
Related Case- State of Rajasthan v. Balveer alias Balli, 2014

Importance of Corroboration-

(i) The evidence of approver in regard to complicity of accused appellant in the conspiracy lacks corroboration on certain material particulars necessary for connecting the appellant.
Related Case- Balwant Kaur v. Union Territory of Chandigarh, 1988

(ii) Every approver comes to give evidence in some such manner seeking to purchase his immunity and that is why to start with he is an unreliable person and the rule of caution calling for material corroboration is constantly kept in mind by the court by time worn judicial practice.
Related Case- Ravinder Singh v. State of Punjab, 1975

(iii) On reading section 133 with illustration (B) {That an accomplice is unworthy of credit, unless he is corroborated in material particular} to section 114. It is not illegal to act upon the uncorroborated evidence of an accomplice it is a rule of prudence so universally followed as to amount almost to a rule of law that it is unsafe to act upon the evidence of an accomplice unless it is corroborated in material respect so as to implicate the accused and further that the evidence of one accomplice cannot be used to corroborate the evidence of another accomplice.
Related Case- Bhuboni Sabu v. Emperor, 1949

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