Introduction -


           According to judicial decisions, an accomplice is one of the guilty associates or partners in the commission of a crime or who in some way or the other is connected with the commission of the crime or who admits that he has a conscious hand in the commission of the crime


Who is Accomplice? Definition of Accomplice - 


The word accomplice has not been defined in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. An accomplice is a person who along with another or others have taken some part large or small in the commission of the crime. It is a general term and is used to designate the person whom the police for some reason do not arrest but called as a witness for the prosecution. 

   If a person is induced by the police to take part in the crime for the purpose of collecting evidence against others he is called as a trap-witness.


If he is arrested and thereafter given a pardon, he is referred to as an approver.  That an accomplice, using this term in its general sense to include trap-witnesses and approvers, is a competent witness provided by Section 133 of the Indian Evidence Act 

Competency of Accomplice as a Witness Section 133 


          According to Section 133 of Indian Evidence Act, "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." The evidence of an accomplice, though it is uncorroborated, may form the basis for conviction. The Court may presume that an accomplice is unworthy of credit unless the corroborated in material particulars. The rule of law says that an accomplice is competent to give evidence and the rule of practice says that it is almost always unsafe to convict upon his testimony alone. Under the English Law, the evidence of an accomplice against accused is no evidence at all.       
         According to Taylor, " accomplices are interested and always in famous witnesses whose testimony is admitted from necessity, it being of an Impossible without having recourse to such evidence to bring the principal offenders to justice.

Kinds of Accomplice -


There are Three kinds of Accomplice. An accomplice many come under any one of the following categories.

i) Principle Offender first degree or second degree

ii) Accessories Before the Crime

iii)  Accessories after the crime

See in Detail - Kinds of Accomplice 


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