All judicial evidence is either direct or circumstantial. By direct evidence is meant when the principal fact is attested directly by witnesses, things or documents. To all other forms, the term circumstantial evidence is applied.
The fundamental principle of universal application in cases dependent on circumstantial evidence, is that in order to justify the inference of guilt, the incriminating fact must be incompatible with the innocence of the accused or the guilt of any other person and incapable of explanation upon any other reasonable hypothesis than that of his guilt. (DB) Sher Muhammad v. R. AIR 1945 Lah. 27 = PLD 1954 Lah. 710; Zahid Hussain v. Crown. (SC) 1969 SCMR 388 = 1969 P.Cr.LJ 956, Muhammad Nazir v. Mst. Sairan PLD 1970 SC 56.
In circumstantial evidence case no link in the chain should be missing and all circumstances must lead to the guilt of the accused. 1999 SCMR 955 Ali Khan.
Circumstantial evidence to carry conviction must be wholly incompatible with the innocence of the accused. PLD 1984 SC 445. Muhammad Fayyaz.
Circumstantial evidence for basing conviction must be such that it must be incompatible with any reasonable hypothesis of the innocence of the accused. No link in the chain would be broken. 1992 SCMR 1047, Ch. Barkat Ali v. Major Karam Elahi Zia.
Conviction on circumstantial evidence can only be made when it excludes all hypothesis of innocence of the accused. Circumstantial evidence must be incompatible with the innocence of the accused. (DB) PLJ 1999 Cr.C. (Lah.) 73 Abdul Sattar.
Conviction on circumstantial evidence can only be made when it excludes all hypothesis of innocence of the accused, 
Conclusive circumstantial evidence may be fabricated. Circumstantial evidence may sometimes be conclusive, but it must always be narrowly examined if only because evidence of this kind may be fabricated in order to cast suspicion on another. Joseph commanded the steward of his house; Put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest. "When the cup was found there Benjamin's brethren too hastily assumed that he must have stolen it. It is also necessary before drawing the inference if the accused's guilt from circumstantial evidence to be sure that there are no other co-existing circumstances which would weaken or destroy the inference. (PC) PLD 1952 PC 119 Lejzor v. The Queen.
Circumstantial evidence supported by defective or inadequate evidence. A mere concurrence of circumstances some or all of which are supported by defective or inadequate evidence, is apt to create a specious appearance, which is calculated to lead to fallacious inference. Hence the necessity of accepting as the basis of inference only such circumstances as are "well authenticated". Where there are indications of design in the preparation of a case resting on circumstantial evidence, the Court should be on its guard against the possibility of being deliberately misled into false inference. Where the Courts below had overlooked certain essential principles applicable to scrutiny of the proof adduced, and to the drawing of inferences in cases resting exclusively on circumstantial evidence, held, that this had resulted in failure of justice. (FC) PLD 1953 214 Fazal Elahi v. Crown.
Cumulative effect of separate items of evidence. Taken separately the circumstances of the case may or not lead to an inference of guilt against the appellant, but considered cumulatively they lead to only one conclusion and that is that the appellant and no one else caused the death of the deceased. Conviction may follow on such evidence if inculpatory facts proved are incompatible with innocence of the accused. (DB) PLD 1953 BJ 17, Ali Muhammad v. Crown.
Circumstantial evidence could be relied upon where either direct evidence was not forthcoming or had not been found satisfactory. 1992 SCMR 1187, Muhammad Arshad. Cases referred; PLD 1983 SC 286, State v. Habib-ur-Rehman; PLD 1992 SC 1, Muhammad Aslam v. Muhammad Zafar etc.
Conviction must be upheld if on the facts proved, no hypothesis consistent with the innocence of the appellant can be suggested; if otherwise the circumstantial evidence can be explained reasonably with the innocence of the accused, the conviction and sentence must be set aside. (FC) PLD 1956 F.C. 123, Siraj v. Crown.
Two possible interpretations of circumstantial evidence. Interpretation unfavourable to the accused not to be adopted unless there is some specific reason for such adoption. Accused pointing out dead body in the wheat field; accused seen with the deceased in the same place before murder; accused pointed out buried weapon of offence; his, loin cloth stained with semen; unexplained injuries on the person of accused. Held, circumstances enough for conviction coupled with retracted extra judicial confession. (DB) PLD 1960 Lah. 739, Nazra.
Corroborative value only. Circumstantial evidence has corroborative value only and conviction cannot be based on such evidence alone. (DB) PLJ 1977 Kar. 28, Siddiq 1977 P.Cr.LJ 30.
No direct evidence available in a murder case, held accused could not be convicted, on proof of existence of enmity between parties, abscondence of appellant and fathers of appellants trying to compromise the offence by payment of compensation. Accused acquitted. PLJ 1991 SC 152 Muhammad Noor etc. v. Member, Board of Revenue etc. 1991 SCMR 643.
Court to examine probabilities in the light of the circumstances of the case. Lack of direct evidence connecting the accused or any other person with the murder does not mean that the guilt cannot be fixed. Straining the evidence in favour of the accused or against him is to be deprecated. (SC) PLD 1966 SC 664. State v. Manzoor Ahmed.
Onus heavy on accused to furnish explanation for circumstantial evidence not explainable on any hypothesis consistent with total innocence of the accused. Onus cannot be discharged by merely hinting of "possibilities" or "suggesting remote hypothesis". PLD 1966 SC 664, Supra.
Inference of guilt from circumstantial evidence is to be drawn when the circumstances sought to be relied upon have been established beyond all doubts. But this means only a reasonable doubt such as would assail a reasonable mind and not any and every kind of doubt and much less a doubt conjured up by preconceived notions. (SC) PLD 1966 SC 664.
Deceased last seen alive in the company of the accused shortly before the time she was presumed to have met her death, near the place of occurrence. Accused failed to furnish explanation. It is reasonable to infer that the survivor was responsible for her death. Conviction upheld. (SC) 1969 SCMR 558 = 1969 P.Cr.LJ 1108, Allah Ditta v. Crown.
Last seen evidence not considered enough to sustain conviction on murder charge when the witness had some connection with the deceased and corroboration was required. PLD 1991 SC 718 Ghulam Mustafa.
Last seen evidence which does not connect the accused with the deceased would not be worth consideration. (DB) NLR 1991 Cr. 226 Muhammad Rafiq etc.
Witnesses of last seen, had they informed the complainant that the accused was with the deceased on the day of occurrence, he would have been got arrested by the police straightaway. PLJ 1991 SC 434. Ghulam Murtaza.
Last seen evidence not put to accused in statement u/S. 342, Cr.P.C. No corroboration regarding last seen evidence on record. Appellant acquitted. 1991 SCMR 1601 Munawar Hussain.
Last seen evidence for conviction should be close to the time and place of murder to exclude possibility of innocence. (DB) NLR 1988 Cr. 230.
Last seen evidence when not corroborated. Accused took the deceased with him. Next day the dead body of deceased was found hanging from a peg in a school room. As the body was in an advanced stage of decomposition, the case of death could not be stated. Held, that "no body of men, unless their thinking faculty had been completely paralysed, could have returned a verdict of guilty of murder in the present case". (SC) PLD 1959 SC (Pak.) 269 Shams-ud-Din.
Last seen together is a weak type of circumstantial evidence to base conviction. PLD 1978 SC 21. Naqib Ullah.
Last seen together is a weak type of evidence and conviction solely based on such circumstantial evidence cannot be maintained. 1991 P.Cr.LJ 956 (SAC), Zafar Ali etc.
Last seen: Mere fact that the accused and the deceased were seen together immediately before the occurrence is not by itself sufficient for conviction (DB) PLD 1964 Quetta 6 Rasul Bux 1971 P.Cr.LJ 211, Allah Bux.
Last seen: No conviction can be based merely upon fact of deceased having been last seen in company of accused. 1980 P.Cr.LJ 164. Allah Ditta.
Last seen: Murdered child last seen alive in company of the accused. Accused having exclusive knowledge of the place where remains of the child were found. Held, it was sufficient to establish the charges of kidnapping and murder. (SC) PLD 1964 (SC) 67 Abdus Samad.
Last seen: The accused last seen with the deceased. Mere failure of the accused to furnish explanation for the disappearance of the deceased is not sufficient to hold him guilty (DB) PLD 1971 Lah. 781 Munshi.
Mere fact that the accused was last seen with the deceased is not enough to sustain conviction for murder. No link in the chain of circumstances, should be broken and these should not be explainable on any other hypothesis than the guilt of the accused. Extra-judicial confession disbelieved, recoveries not connected with crime. Motive extremely weak. Accused acquitted. (SC) 1972 SCMR 15 Karamat (DB) 1974 P.Cr.LJ 463.
Last seen together evidence not enough to hold conviction: Deceased alleged to have left for a village in the company of the accused and not have been seen since then. Such last seen evidence not connected with any evidence to show that the deceased had been seen with the accused any where on the way to the destined village. Possibility of deceased having separated from accused soon after leaving house not altogether excluded. (DB) PLD 1971 Kar. 299 Ghulab Khan.
Last seen evidence is not sufficient for establishing guilt of the accused when it requires making conjectures to connect accused with the crime but where the chain of facts is such that no reasonable inference can be drawn except the guilt of the accused, such evidence can be drawn except the guilt of the accused, such evidence can be relied upon. PLJ 1999 SC 901 Jafar Ali.
Last seen with the accused is not sufficient by itself to sustain charge of murder. More evidence is required to link accused with the murder of his companion, e.g. incriminating recoveries, motive, and proximity of time when both seen together at the time of murder. The circumstantial evidence to sustain conviction must be incompatible with the innocence of the accused. (SC) PLD 1977 SC 515 Rehmat.
Last seen evidence for basing conviction thereon as circumstantial evidence must be incompatibly with the innocence of the accused and should be accepted with great caution and be scrutinized minutely for reaching a conclusion that no plausible conclusion can be drawn therefrom except the guilt of the accused. 1997 SCMR 1416, Mst. Reshaman Bibi v. Shirin Khan etc.
Mere last seen evidence cannot be made a basis of conviction. It would be a case of no evidence entitling the accused to acquittal. NLR 1987 Cr. 846.
Last seen with accused evidence of no value when witnesses do not state how long after the deceased was found dead. (DB) NLR 1988 Cr. 599.
No ocular evidence available against accused, the evidence available was that the witnesses saw the deceased and at some distance saw the petitioners going in the same direction. Such evidence could not be treated as evidence of last seen. Evidence of extra judicial confession by itself not sufficient to sustain conviction. Recovery of weapon by itself cannot form basis of conviction. Bail allowed. 1997 SCMR 1279, Ijaz Ahmed and another.
Place of occurrence 15 miles away from place of "Last seen". Such piece of evidence not relied upon. (DB) PLJ 1978 Cr.C. (BJ) 145. Umid Ali.
Deceased last seen in the company of the accused and his companions, not incompatible with innocence. Held, accused entitled to benefit of doubt. (SC) 1977 SCMR 20, Nazo.
Circumstantial evidence for conviction must be authentic. Facts in the case, as alleged, found contradictory to each other and medical evidence indicating possibility of two assailants: Accused acquitted. (SC) PLD 1965 SC 44 Azim.
" must be definite and clear and should exclude the possibility of the innocence of the accused, before conviction can be based on it. (DB) PLD 1958 Pesh. 1 Allah Ditta.
" consisting of; (i) Deceased last seen with accused (ii) accused has exclusive knowledge where body lay buried (iii) recovery of the articles of the deceased made at the instance of the accused (iv) clothes secured from the accused stained with human blood. Held, murder charge established. (SC) 1968 SCMR 378. Allah Ditta.
Discovery of dead body (i) at the instance of the accused (ii) accused had the strongest motive to kill (iii) accused got recovered a spade blade with which injuries on the deceased could have been caused. These circumstances were found to be incompatible with the innocence of the accused. Conviction upheld. (SC) PLD 1958 SC (Pak.) 290, Allah Ditta.
Recovery of weapon of offence (an axe by which injuries to the deceased could have been caused) and some articles belonging to the deceased at the instance of the accused. Accused held guilty. Appeal dismissed. (SC) PLD 1958 SC 313 Bilimoria.
Recovery of ornaments is not a circumstance consistent with the guilt of the accused. Te ornaments could have been taken after the murder by some one else. (DB) AIR 1926 Lah. 691.
Corroborative circumstances: Recovery of blood-stained key of the deceased and blood at the place where deceased was beaten. A trail of blood drops leading to the ahata of the accused where some more blood was found, and recovery of blood-stained clothes of the accused were considered sufficient corroboration and link to connect the accused with the crime. Dead body was not found in this case. Sentence of transportation for life was maintained. (SC) PLD 1967 SC 217 Sardar Ali.
Recovery of blood stained hatchet handle at the instance of the accused, where other evidence was disbelieved, was held not enough for conviction. (FC) PLD 1956 FC 123 Siraj v. Crown.
Absence of explanation: Mere absence of explanation cannot prove the crime of murder, but the fact that a criminal does not explain very suspicious circumstances against him is certainly circumstantial evidence which may be taken into consideration against him. (DB) AIR 1937 Lah. 127 Mangal Singh etc. v. Emperor.
Question about "Last seen" alive with the accused not put to the accused. held, incurable irregularity. Accused acquitted. PLJ 1978 SC 129 Naqib Ullah PLD 1978 SC 21.
In circumstantial evidence each link of the chain of circumstances must be proved. Held, failure of one link would destroy the whole chain of circumstantial evidence. PLJ 1996 Shariat Court (A.J.K) 145, Muhammad Younas.
No link in chain should be missing for conviction in circumstantial evidence. Both recoveries of gun and empties made on same day, possibility of crime empties having been made to match with the gun could not be ruled out. appellants acquitted for offence u/S. 302(b) but convicted u/S. 404, PPC as motorcycle, wrist watch and purse of the deceased were recovered at the instance of the appellant, Appellant's sentence of 2 years R.I. and fine of Rs. 1,000/- maintained. PLJ 1999 SC 729 Ali Khan.