Meaning- elsewhere/at another place

Origin- Latin

In the 18th century alibi meant ‘an assertion by a person that he or she was

elsewhere’. But In the 20th century, a new sense raises to the meaning as ‘an



It is a defense used in Criminal procedure whereby an accused person tries to

prove that they were somewhere else at the time of an alleged offense was

committed. In simple terms, a claim that a person cannot be held guilty of a

crime because he/she was somewhere else when the crime took place. It differs

from all the other defenses, in the way that it is based upon the premise that the

defendant is truly innocent.

A person’s alibi is the evidence that proves that he/she is innocent.


A is charged with killing B. Then A offers a shred of evidence that he was in

class on the day and at the time of the murder. The evidence could be in the

form of witnesses who were there in the class along with A, or an attendance

sheet showing him in class, among other things. Thus, the evidence

demonstrates an alibi of A.

Case Laws

In Bikau Pandey And Ors vs. the State Of Bihar, the Supreme Court of India

state that “So far as the question of alibi is concerned, when the presence of the

concerned accused is established, the Court could not surely believe the

counter-evidence unless it is of such quality as would create a reasonable doubt

on the minds of the Court that the prosecution version was not cogent.”

credit: Nandini Gupta

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