Reference S, 87 Cr.P.C
To keep hide oneself in order to avoid the process of law.
According to Webster’s English Dictionary
(i) To hide, withdraw, or be concealed.
(ii) To depart clandestinely, to steal off and secret one’s self.
Accused having become fugitive from law loses his normal rights under substantive law.
Is a person who is intentionally evading and avoiding service of notice, summons and warrants issued against him.
Reference sec. 87, 88 and 512 Cr.P.C.
Definition of Abscondance
Abscondence is not a mere term of art, but is a legal term which under the statutes has to be proved by the prosecution like any other fact. The prosecution in the first instance must prove that the summons or warrants were issued against the appellant but the same could not be served as he was deliberately avoiding service by hiding himself.
If the court was satisfied that the appellant was concealing himself to avoid services of summons and warrants, then action under sec, 87 or sec 88 could be taken against him. It is only after a proclamation under sec 87 and sec 88 is obtained that a person can legally be said to have absconded. In other wards the prosecution has to prove by positive evidence that an accused person has really absconded.
Categories of Abscondece
There are two types of categories of abscondence.
(i) The person who escapes and becomes absconder with guilty of mind.
(ii) The person who could be innocent, but they abscond being scared of the repercussions of a criminal case lodged against them.
Abscondence can be considered as conviction
Abscondence by itself, no doubt, is not sufficient for conviction of accused, but it is a strong piece of corroborative evidence of the other direct and circumstantial evidence in the case. (MLD 2000 page 605)
Deny in concession of Bail
Initiating of proceeding u/s 87/88 Cr.P.C is not enough to deny the concession of bail. (YLR 2000 Page 600)
Conduct of person absconded
Conduct of person absconding after the commission of offence is evidence of show that he was concerned with the offence. (NLR 2000 Sc.J 707)
It is a supporting evidence of is guilt and it may be consisted with the guilt or innocence of accused which is to be decided keeping in view the overall fact of the case. (2009 SCMR 803)
Long abscondence of accused without any plausible and reasonable explanation indicates his gilt. Wen considered in conjunction with and circumstantial evidence of is being apprehended and then such deposition can be given n evidence only if deponent is deed, or his evidence cannot be procured without any amount of delay, expose of inconvenience. (2009 SCMR 471)
Trial in absentia
Trial is absentia normal trial cannot be held in absentia, the cannot merely record the evidence against the absconding. However, when accused challaned in absentia and trial in absentia permissible order the relevant law. Court adopting course suggested, prosecution is debarred from raising objection.
Court must be judicially satisfied on the basis of evidence that the accused changed therein had abscond and there was no prospectus of his arrest in the near future and secondly on the request of such accused it must be also proved for the satisfaction of the court that the witness whose deposition recorded and preserved u/s 512 Cr.P.C is either dead or incapable of giving evidence or his attendance cannot be procured without any unreasonable delay, expansion or inconvenience.
To conclude I can say that for declaring a person as proclaimed offender, there must be proceeding under section 87 and 88 of Cr.P.C. without proceeding of 87 and 88 of Cr.P.C., trial cannot be commenced even to the extent of other present accused. After completing the proceeding under the above said sections, challan under section 512 Cr.P.C be submitted to the court. Court would declare the person as proclaimed offender after legal formalities and would preserve / record evidence of witnesses.