A criminal conspiracy is generally hatched in secrecy, owing to which, direct evidence is difficult to obtain. The offence can therefore be proved either by adducing circumstantial evidence, or by way of necessary implication. However, in the event that the circumstantial evidence is incomplete or vague, it becomes necessary for the prosecution to provide adequate proof regarding the meeting of minds, which is essential in order to hatch a criminal conspiracy, by adducing substantive evidence in the court. Furthermore, in order to constitute the offence of conspiracy, it is not necessary that the person involved has knowledge of all the stages of action. In fact, mere knowledge of the main object/purpose of conspiracy, would warrant the attraction of relevant penal provisions. Thus, an agreement between two persons to do, or to cause an illegal act, is the basic requirement of the offence of conspiracy under the penal statute. R. Shaji v. State of Kerala, (2014) 4 SCC (Cri) 185.
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Suspicion, however grave it may be, cannot take the place of proof, and there is a large difference between something that “may be” proved and “will be proved”. In a criminal trial, suspicion no matter how strong, cannot and must not be permitted to take place of proof. This is for the reason that the mental distance between “may be” and “must be” is quite large and divided vague conjectures from sure conclusions. In a criminal case, the court has a duty to ensure that mere conjectures or suspicion do not take the place of legal proof. The large distance between “may be” true and “must be” true, must be covered by way of clear, cogent and unimpeachable evidence produced by the prosecution, before an accused is condemned as a convict, and the basic and golden rule must be applied. In such cases, while keeping in mind the distance between “may be” true and “must be” true, the Court must maintain the vital distance between conjectures and sure conclusions to be arrived at, on the touchstone of dispassionate judicial scrutiny based upon a complete and comprehensive appreciation of all features of the case, as well as the quality and credibility of the evidence brought on record. The court must ensure that miscarriage of justice is avoided and if the facts and circumstances of a case so demand, keeping in mind that a reasonable doubt is not an imaginary, trivial or a merely probable doubt, but a fair doubt that is based upon reason and common sense. Raj Kumar Singh v. State of Rajasthan, (2013) 5 SCC 722