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General Principles of Confession

General Principles of Confession

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Indian Evidence Act
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Published by: Dilraj Singh Bhinder on Nov 18, 2013
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General Principles Of Confessions

(Sections 24-30)

Submitted To: Dr. Sabina Salim U.I.L.S.

Submitted By: Dilraj S. Bhinder 125/10

The substantive law relating to Confessions is contained in sections 24-30 of the Indian Evidence Act, and the adjective law is contained in Sections 164,281 and 463 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Sections 24-26 lay down when confessions are not relevant i.e., provable. While sections 27-29 are limitations to their operation. Confessions are received in evidence in criminal cases upon the same principle on which admissions are received in civil cases, namely,  The presumption that a person will not make an untrue statement against his own interest.  A man of sound mind and full age, who makes a statement in ordinary simple language and has not been victim of malpractices, threat or inducement in making such statement, must be bound by the language of statement and by its ordinary plain meaning and the act spoken of must be given its legal consequence.


The term confession is nowhere defined in the Evidence Act. All the provisions relating to confessions occur in the heading “admission”. This shows the legislative intent of not distinguishing between and “admission” and “confession”, so far at least definition is concerned. The definition of “admission” as given in section 17 becomes applicable to confession also. Section 17 defines “admission” as “a statement oral or documentary, which suggest any inference to any fact in issue or relevant fact”. If such a statement is made by a party to civil proceeding it will be called an admission and if it is made by a party charged with a rime it will be called a confession. Thus, in terms of the act, a confession s a statement made by a person charged with a crime suggesting an inference as to any facts in issue or as o relevant facts. The inference that the statement should suggest should be that he is gilty of crime. According to Stephens Digest of the Law of Evidence “A confession is an admission made at any time by a person charged with crime stating or suggesting the inference that he committed that crime.” However in Pakala Narayan Swami vs. Emperor1 the Privy Council did not accept the definition for the purposes of Indian Evidence Act and observed that “a confession must either admit in the terms the offence, or at any rate substantially all the facts which constitute the offence. An admission of a gravely incriminating fact, even a conclusively incriminating fact, is not itself a confession, for example, an admission that the accused is the owner of and was in recent possession of a knife or revolver which caused death with no explanation of any other man‟s possession. The definition is not contained in Evidence Act 1872, and in that act it would not be consistent with the natural use of language to construe confession as a statement by an accused suggesting the inference that he committed crime”


AIR 1939 P.C. 47 2

etc. caused by any inducement. threat or promise (Section 24)  It must not be made to a police officer (Section 25)  It must be made I immediate presence of a Magistrate when the accused is in the custody of police officer (Section 26)  It must be made after impression. has been fully removed (Section 27)  The Confession of an accused is relevant only against himself. State of Mysore2 the hon‟ble Supreme Court held that an unambiguous confession. subject to Section 30.Conditions For relevancy of Confession The following conditions must be satisfied for relevancy of a confession:  It must not be caused by inducement.. 2 AIR 1971 SC 1871 3 . In Thimma vs. if admissible in evidence and free from suspicion of falsity is a valuable piece of evidence possession a high probative force.

and (c) sufficiently given the accused person reasonable grounds for supposing that by making the confession he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of temporal nature in reference to proceeding against him. threat or promise should have (a) reference to the charge against the accused. PRINCIPLE: According to the section. proceeding from a person in authority and sufficient. Confession caused by inducement. Threat. Inducement 2.A confession made by an accused person is irrelevant in a criminal proceeding. threat or promise. or 3. when irrelevant in criminal proceeding. a confession by an accused is irrelevant if it is caused by 1. to give the accused person grounds. State of Sikkim 4 the magistrate herself had satisfied that there was no policeman in courtroom or in any place where proceedings could be seen or heard and questions and answers showed that the accused was prepared to make confessional statement and two days time was given 3 4 Section 24 of Indian Evidence Act 2002(4) Crimes 1136 4 . which would appear to him reasonable.Section 24 S24. in the opinion of the court. if the making of the confession appears to the court to have been caused by any inducement. for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the proceeding against him3. threat or promise having reference to the charge against the accused person. (b) proceeding from a person in authority. Promise The inducement. In Man Bhadur Gurung vs.

the court must apply a double test: 1. for the matter. to allow a man to be convicted on the strength of a confession unless it is made voluntarily and unless he realizes that he says may be used against him. thereis no rigid cannon of universal 5 6 AIR 1956 SC 217 AIR 1978 SC 1248 5 . of any substantive piece of evidence. before acting upon the confession. when in capital case the prosecution demands a conviction of the accused primarily on the basis of his confession recorded under Section 164 Cr.C. OBJECT: This section is mainly integrated to safeguard the interest of the accused. In such a case. the court must.” The Apex Court in Shankaria vs. it must be excluded and rejected bervi manu. For judging the reliability of such a confession or.to the accused for reflection and the statement was recorded by the Magistrate after satisfying herself that the statement has been made by the accused voluntarily such confessional statement cannot be said to be result of any duress. and is also dangerous. The Supreme Court in Aher Raja Khima vs. State of Rajisthan6 observed that it is well settled that a confession. If the first test is satisfied. reach the finding that what is stated in the therein is true and reliable. the question of proceeding further to apply the second test does not arise.P. If so. Therefore. on the ground of pubic policy and for proper administration of justice. is an efficacious proof of guilt. coercion or inducement by the police or any other person. if voluntarily and truthfully made. Whether the confession was perfectly voluntary? 2. If the confession appears to the court to have been caused by any inducement. whether it was true and trustworthy? Satisfaction of first evidence is sine qua non for its admissibility in evidence. State of Saurashtra5observed that “it is abhorrent to our notions of justice and fair play. threat or promise. Evidence Act. such as is mentioned in Section 24.

application.” Further this section place responsibility on the court. being declarations against the interest of the person making them. they can be admitted in evidence only on proof that can be offered by witness who heard the admission or the confession. they are probably true. Their probable value does not depend upon their communication to another. just like any other piece of evidence. they are placed in the category of relevant evidence in Sections 17-30 presumably on the ground that. in the light of the surrounding circumstances and probabilities of each case. The responsibility of the court would be great because the court must relegate itself to the position of the accused and see whether the inducement. Before a confession is relied upon. as the case may be. State of Punjab/ AIR 1977 SC 1294 6 . The court should carefully examine the confession and compare it with the rest of evidence. Before a confession can be accepted in evidence. ESSENTIALS OF A CONFESSION: Admissions and confessions are exception to the hearsay rule. one broad method which may be useful in most cases for evaluation of a confession may be indicated. threat. Under the latter part of the section. though. it must be clear and unequivocal. Even so. Thus it can be seen that this section through its wording has given the fullest discretion to the court to reject he alleged confession if it entertains a suspicion. by making it. Even if so much 7 Satbir Singh vs. the court has to form an opinion that the inducement. or promise by the person in authority is sufficient to give the accused person grounds. he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of temporal nature. threat or promise given to the accused would appear reasonable to make the accused feel that he would gain an advantage or avoid any evil of temporal nature with reference to the charge against him7. which would appear to him reasonable for supposing that. whether it is judicial or extra-judicial confession. it must be established by cogent evidence what were the exact words used by the accused.

however incriminating. is not itself a confession. Further any confessional statement not relating to the alleged crime. prudence and justice demands that such evidence cannot be sole ground of conviction. An admission of gravely incriminating fact. It may used only as a corroborative piece of evidence8. REFRENCE TO CHARGE AGAINST ACCUSED PERSON: “Charge” means a criminal charge or a charge of an offence in a criminal proceeding.P.is established. Also an admission of a fact. PERSON IN AUTHORTY: The expression does not mean person-having control over the prosecution of the accused. A statement made under section 164 Cr. Further confession must either admit in terms of offence. MADE BY AN ACCUSED: The expression “accused person” in section 24 and the expression “a person accused of any offence” in section 25 have the same connotation and describe the person against whom evidence is sought to be led in a criminal proceeding. which is not the subject matter of the indictment. doesnot amount to a confession within the meaning of Sections24 and 25 of the Evidence Act. even a conclusively incriminating fact. must be with reference to the offence. has the person authority to interfere in 8 Saboo vs. threat. State of UP/ AIR 1966 SC 40 7 . The inducement. It does not predicate a formal accusation against him at the time of making the statement sought to be proved. which does not amount to a confession. or at any rate substantially all the acts. or promise. The test would seem to be. can be used against the maker as an admission with in purview of Ss. with which the accused is charged. as a condition of its applicability. cannot be relevant under this section and cannot be relied upon. which constitute the offence. 18-21.C . but not by itself establishing the guilt of the maker of such admission.

The court to determine the sufficiency of inducement. A confession made to the recording officer of the Border Security Force was held to be not voluntary. threat or promise as affording certain ground. to see whether the ground would appear reasonable for the supposition mentioned in the section.e. for example.Emperor vs. A merely moral exhortation to tell truth is not objectionable 9 10 Hardev Singh vs. Union of India/ 2000 Crlj 2585 (1925) 4 Pat 646 8 . a person engaged in apprehension. In King. not spiritual or religious. and to judge whether the confession appears to have been in consequence of the inducement. detention or prosecution of the accused. The accused had remained in detention for 3 months and was not permitted to meet anybody including his relatives9. Akhilevashari Prashad 10 it was observed that the inducement must be of temporal type i.the matter under enquiry as. Confessions obtained by exhortations are admissible in evidence. or who is empowered to examine him and any concern or interest in it would be sufficient to give him that authority. The belief of the accused that the persons to whom he made a confession were “persons in authority” is not sufficient to bring him within the term. It shows that the court has to decide the preliminary question of admissibility on a consideration of the evidence and surrounding circumstances. threat or promise. GROUNDS WHICH WOULD APPER TO HIM REASONALBE: The word “apperar” imprts judicial discretion.

regarded the evidence of police officers as untrustworthy. 26. In Queen Empress vs. and those malpractices went to the length of positive torture.No confession made to a police officer shall be proved as against a person accused of any offence. is that a confession thus made or obtained is untrustworthy. the legislature. PRINCIPLE: Under this section a confession made to a police officer is inadmissible in evidence except in so far as proved by section 27. and as matters of criminal procedure. SCOPE: The provision does not exclude all statements made to the police but only confessions made by the accused. rules of evidence. The Legislature had in view malpractices of police officials in extorting confessions from accused persons in order to gain credit by securing convictions. The principle upon which the rejection of confession made by accused to a police officer. and 27 of the evidence act were not originally treated in British India as. Babulal 11 it was observed that rules contained in sections 25. strictly speaking.25 Confession to police officer not to be proved. A statement even if it goes against the accused is admissible if it does not amount to a confession. and the object of the rule was to put a stop to the extortion of confession. but rather as rules governing the action of police officers. It is immaterial whether the police officer to whom the confession is made is the officer investigating the case 11 (1884) 6 All 509 9 . in laying down such rules. is founded. by taking away from the police officers the advantage of proving such extorted confession during the trial of accused person. The broad ground for not admitting confessions made to a police officer is to avoid the danger of admitting a false confession.Section 25 S. or while in custody of such officer.

that is. It applies to every police officer and is not restricted to officers in regular police force. establish a direct or substantial relationship with the prohibition enacted by section 25. the test would be whether the powers are such as would tend to facilitate the obtaining by him of a confession from a suspect or a delinquent. to whatever crime it may refer. These questions may perhaps be relevant for consideration where the powers of a police officer confer 12 13 AIR 1997 SC 2780 AIR 1964 SC 828 10 . If they do. State of Bihar13 the Supreme Court observed that: “The test for determining whether a person is a police officer for the purpose of section 25 of the Evidence Act would be whether the powers of a police officer which are conferred on him or which are exercisable by him because he is deemed to be officer in charge of a police station. recording of a confession. The fact that he is police officer is sufficient to invalidate the confession.or not. Anirudh Singh12the apex court laid down the object of section 25 and stated that it is to ensure that the person accused of the offence would not be induced by threat. In Rajaram vs. OBJECT: In State of Gujrat vs. then it is unnecessary to consider the dominant purpose for which he is appointed or question as to what the other powers he enjoys. In other words. POLICE OFFICER: The term should not be read in strict technical sense but according to its more compressive and popular meaning. coercion or force to make a confessional statement and the officers would also make every effort to collect the evidence of the commission of every crime de hors the confession to be extracted from the accused while they are in custody of police.

14 AIR 1966 SC 119 11 . Rifels  Officers under Orissa Home Guard Act  Police Constable Guarding the Treasury  Village Administrative officer CONFESSION BY WAY OF F. and statements of the latter kind are admissible unless they are hit by Section 162 of Cr. but a confessional statement cannot be used against the accused under Section 25.K. and those.C.The following officers are held as “police officers” within the meaning of Section 25:  Excise Officer (Under Bihar and Orissa Act)  A Special Officer of the Commercial tax Department  An Officer appointed under the Bombay Sales Tax Act. further it was held in Aghnoo vs.R: The evidence Act draws a distinction between statements. State14 that where the accused gave First Information to the police. which amount to confessions. the fact of his giving that information is admissible under section 8. which are admissions falling short of confessions. If it is a non-confessional one.I.C.upon him are of very limited character and are not by themselves sufficient to facilitate the obtaining by him of a confession.  Officers of J.E. except to the extent it is permitted under section 27 of the Evidence Act.P. Who are police officers: .  Security officer of H. it is admissible under Section 21.

is inadmissible unless made in presence of a Magistrate. Under section 26 no confession made by a person in custody to nay person other than police officer. visitor etc. Section 25 bars a confession made to Police Officer whether the confessor is in the custody of the police or not. doctor. and 26 do not lay down identical positions.” PRINCIPLE: This section is a further extension of the principle laid down in section 25. Section 26 governs confessions while in police custody made to any person other than the police. unless it is made in immediate presence of a Magistrate. shall be admissible unless made in immediate presence of a Magistrate.“No confession made by any person whilst he is in the custody of a police officer.Section 26 S. 12 . SCOPE: Section 25 applies to confessions made to the police. while the confessor is in the custody of the police. Hence section 25. shall be proved as against such person. while Section 26 goes further and enacts that the confession made to any person like a fellow. The reason is that a person in custody of police is presumed to be under their influence and it provides opportunities for offering inducement or extorting confessions. They provide two clear definite rules.prisoner. 26 Confession by accused while in custody of police not to be proved against him. The presence of the Magistrate secures the free and voluntary nature of the confession and the confessing person has the opportunity of making a statement uncontrolled by fear of police. The object is to prevent the abuse of the powers by the police.

CUSTODY: The word „Custody‟ is not defined in the Act. rather directly or indirectly cause by the police. or may be partial. which may be complete as. the crucial test is whether at the time when the accused makes the confession he is a free man or his movements are controlled by the police either by themselves or though some other agency employed by them. In Farman Shah vs. by submitting to the interrogation and making statement about discovery and thereby ceases to be a free man. Even a temporary absence of policeman or police officer would not terminate his custody and the accused shall be deemed to be in custody of the police even in such circumstances. in the case of an arrested person. Police custody extends to a case where the accused is deemed to have submitted to custody of the police officer. It doesn‟t necessarily mean custody after formal arrest. The King Emperor 15 the Privy Council observed that a confession includes any statement made by any person whilst in custody of the police and appears o apply to such statements to whomsoever made eg.C does not cover such statements. detention. To fellow prisoner. or restriction by the police on the movement of the person concerned. The words „in custody‟ which are to be found in this and other sections of the act include surveillance or restriction on the movements of the person concerned. it is sufficient if there is some form of police surveillances.P.In Palka Narayan Swamy vs. for the purpose of securing the confession. But it implies that there must be some limitation upon the liberty of the citizen. State16 the apex court held that in considering whether an accused is in police custody when his confession is recorded. 15 16 AIR 1939 PC 47 1981 CrLJ SC 13 . for instance. Section 162 of Cr. a doctor or a visitor. which may include arrest. surveillance or any restraint on his movement.

Further confession to a private person in presence of a police officer is also barred by section 26. Further immediate presence of Magistrate means his presence in the same room where the confession is being recorded. 20th Edition 14 .IMMIDIATE PRESENCE OF MAGISTRATE: A confession is admissible. but it will be inadmissible if it is made to a police officer eve in presence of a Magistrate.judicial confession as this section hits it. if made to a magistrate or to a person other than Police Officer but in the immediate presence of Magistrate. 17 Singh Avtar. The presence of a Magistrate rules out the possibility of torture thereby making the confession free. Also a statement made to the police and heard by a private person cannot be regarded as an extra. voluntary and reliable. Central Law Publications. His presence in the adjoining room cannot afford the same degree of protection against torture17. Principles of the Law of Evidence.

Section 27 S. The principle underlying this section was taken from the amended section 150. was transferred to the Evidence Act. 8 of 1869. Under this section: a) There must be information b) It does not matter whether the information amounts to confession or not c) That the person must be in custody of police 15 .. under the Amendment Act. in custody of a police officer. as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered.C. It comes into operation only 1. that section 150. If and when certain facts are deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from an accused person in police custody.27 How much of information received from accused may be provedProvided that. If the information relates distinctly to the facts discovered.P. PRINCIPLE: This section is founded on the principle that if the confession of the accused is supported by the discovery of a fact it may be presumed to be true and not to have been extracted. but the necessity for exclusion disappears in a case provided for by this section when the truth of the confession is guaranteed by the discovery of facts in consequence of information given. and 2. so much of such information. may be proved. Cr. of the Criminal Procedure Code. threat or promise is the danger of admitting false confessions. The broad ground for not admitting confessions made to a police officer under inducement. When evidence Act was enacted in 1872. whether it amounts to a confession or not. when any fact is deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from a person accused of any offence.

and thereupon so much of information as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered may be proved. or ornaments. threat or promise. Normally this section is brought into operation when a person in police custody produces from some place of concealment some object.d) In consequence of the information a fact must be deposed to as discovered e) In such a case so much of the information as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered may be proved. Explaining the Scope of this section in general terms. observed that “Section 27. The condition necessary to bring the section into operation is that discovery of a fact in consequence of information received from a person accused of any offence in custody of police officer must be deposed to. a confession made by him to a police officer or the making of which is procured by inducement.G. which is no artistically worded. their Lordships. 18 19 AIR 1947 PC 67 1993 CrLJ 730 16 . the said statement of the accused could not be said to be volunteered and was inadmissible in evidence. State of Gujrat19 the apex court observed that whether a person is in custody or outside. and enables certain statements made by a person in police custody to be proved. Emperor18 . said to be connected with the crime of which the informant is accused. Where in pursuance of the statement made by accused on the specific question by the investigating officer stolen property was discovered. a dead body. In M. such as. The section seems to be based on the view that if a fact is actually discovered in consequence of the information given. provides an exception to the prohibition imposed by previous section. having reference to the charge against him and proceeding from person in authority. Thakore vs. is not provable against him in any proceeding in which he is discharged with the commission of an offence. in Pulukuri Kottaya vs. some guarantee is afforded thereby that information is true and accordingly can be safely allowed to be given in evidence. a weapon.

The fact must have been discovered. State of Punjab.P. 1007 22 AIR 2002 SC 3272 20 21 17 . Such recoveries could not be held to be not admissible under Section 27. Niak vs. David Razario 22 the Hon‟ble Supreme Court observed that the basic idea embedded in this section is the doctrine of confirmation by subsequent events.C.21 it was observed by the apex court that the words “ accused of any offence” under Section 27 would not operate only after formal arrest under Section 46(1) of Cr. still the statement of the accused could not be used in evidence against him. such discovery is a guarantee that the information supplied by the prisoner is true.In S. The doctrine is founded on the principle that.G. The fact of which evidence is sought to be given must be relevant to the issue. State of Maharashtra20 the accused allegedly stated that the injuries sustained by him were caused due to dog bite and the evidence showed that only one of those injuries was attribute to dog bite.C. In Vikrim Singh vs. The information might be confessional or non-culpatory in nature if it results in discovery of fact. if any fact is discovered as a search made on strength of any information obtained from prisoner.27: 1. CONDITIONS NECESSARY FOR OPERATION OF S. DOCTRINE OF CONFIRMATION: In State of Karnatka vs. It must be borne in mind that the provision has nothing to with question of relevancy. The relevancy of fact discovered must be established according to prescriptions relating to relevancy of other evidence connecting it with the crime in order to make the fact discovered admissible. The accused persons were in police custody at the time of recoveries on the basis of their disclosure statements. it becomes reliable information. 1999 CrLJ 471 AIR 2010 S. 2.

observed that he expression “to be a witness” bears the wider meaning of “bearing testimony orally or written in court or out of court by a Dhirajlal Ratanlal. 20(3) unless compulsion has been used in obtaining the information. 2006 24 AIR 1961 SC 1808 25 AIR 1963 SC 23 18 . Thereupon only that portion of the information.K. The persons giving the information must be accused of any offence 5.3. 4. In Panda vs. 20(3) only provides that an accused cannot be compelled to be witness against himself. Article 20(3) syas: “No person accused of any offence shall be compelled to be a witness against himself. The discovery of a fact in consequence of information received from an accused in custody must de deposed to 7. The rest is in admissible23 CONSTITUNAL VALIDITY: The constitunal validity of Section 27 has been challenged much time on the ground that it is violative of Art. Union of India25 the Supreme Court. 22nd Enlarged Edition. The Law of Evidence. Wadhwa and Company Nagpur. dealing with the argument that Art. can be proved. K. which relates distinctly os strictly to the fact discovered. The mere fact that there accused was in custody at the time he made the confession did not make it a compelled statement tough the fact coupled with others might establish that the statement was compelled. 20(3) of the Constitution of India.” The Supreme Court in State of Bombay vs. He must be in custody of a police officer 6. Oghad 24 held that the statements admissible under Section 27 of the Evidence Act are not within the prohibition of Art. The discovery must have been in consequence of some information received from the accused and not by accused‟s own act.

Deoman Upadhiyaya26 the constitunal validity of Section 27 was challenged on the basis that it is violative of Art 14 of Constitution of India. vs. 26 AIR 1960 SC 19 .person accused of an offence”. Dealing with that it discriminates between confessions made by persons in custody of a police officer and persons in custody not in custody. It would therefore include statements under section 27. Persons in custody and persons not in custody do not stand on the same footing nor require identical protection. artificial or evasive. In State of U. The decision of SC has been treated as setting the law on the question.P. The apex court held that Section 27 is not violative of Art 14. the Supreme Court held that the distinction made between the two classes of persons couldn‟t be called arbitrary.

Section 28 S.28 Confession made after removal of impression caused by inducement. has to come to a definite conclusion that the impression caused in the mind of the accused to make a confession by inducement. 20 . threat or promise has been fully removed from the mind of the accused. PRINCIPLE: This section makes it possible for a confession to be relevant provided such confession is made after the impression caused by any inducement. as relevant. Under this Section in order to treat a confession hit by section 24. Thus this section forms an exception to Section 24. threat or promise. form the facts and circumstances of each case. The proper position of this section therefore should have been immediately after Section 24. has been fully removed. the court. in the opinion of the court. threat or promise has been fully removed. threat or promise relevant.If such a confession as s referred in section 24 is made after the impression caused by any such inducement. been fully removed it as relevant. The burden is on the prosecution to satisfy the court by clear evidence that the impression caused by any such inducement. threat or promise has.

or 2. or 3. if it is made in the immediate presence of the Magistrate. Because it was elicited in answer to a question. If it not made to a police officer but is made to any other person. it would become relevant. though confession is made while in police custody. Under Section 25. Under section 26. confession to a police officer is not admissible. or because he was not bound to make such confession. if confession is otherwise relevant. Under Section 24. or because it was made in answer to questions which he need not have answered. etc.. Under this section a relevant confession does not become irrelevant merely because made under: 1. it would not be relevant.Section 29 S. or when he was drunk. whatever have been the form of those questions. it would be relevant. promise or inducement. So if there were no such threat. or in consequence of a deception practiced on the accused person for the purpose of obtaining it. In consequence of a deception or artifice practiced on the accused. threat or promise relating to the charge and proceeding from a person in authority. it would become relevant. if the confession were caused by any inducement. or it was 21 .If such a confession is otherwise relevant it does not become irrelevant merely because it was made under a promise of secrecy.29 Confession otherwise relevant not to become irrelevant because of promise of secrecy. PRINCIPLE: Under this section. and that evidence of it might be given against him. When he was drunk. it does not become irrelevant merely because of certain circumstances referred to in the section. or 4. A promise of secrecy.

The Bombay HC in Emperor vs.P. assumes that there is no bar to the admissibility of the confession in question arising from any of the said earlier provisions and it then proceeds to invalidate or negative other possible objections or bars that may be raised against its admissibility. Because no warning was given that he was not bound to say anything and that whatever he might say would be used as evidence against him27. the Magistrate shall explain to the person making the confession that he is not bound to make it. Ramnath Mahabir 28 held that the Cr. among other things. If for any of the reasons mentioned in Ss. 28 (1925) 28 Bom LR 111 27 22 . the confession would still not become irrelevant u/s 29.5. 26 and 28.C “is a special enactment applying only to certain statements made in particular circumstances contemplated by section 164”. SECTION 29 AND SECTION 164 OF Cr. Wadhwa and Company Nagpur. It cannot override the general provisions of this section except where these circumstances bring the section into operation.C. But this section says that a confession does not become irrelevant because the accused was not warned that he is not bound to make it. then there is no question of applying the provisions of Section 29.C.P. it mist appear that the confession in question is admissible under the preceding sections of the Act.P.2006. were not complied with in recording a confession of an accused. 22nd Enlarged Edition.C provides the formalities to be undergone by Magistrates in recording confession. the confession is inadmissible. 24. It says. Section 29. The Law of Evidence. Dhirajlal Ratanlal.: The question has repeatedly arisen whether in a case where the provisions in Section 164 Cr. if such confession was otherwise relevant. “IF SUCH CONFESSION IS OTHERWISE RELEVANT”: These words indicate that before the provision of this section can be invoked. therefore. Section 164 of Cr.P.

takes place of the sanction of an oath and so affords some guarantee that the whole statement is a true one29. which. The confession is only one element in the consideration of all the facts proved in the case. The King 30 observed that the confession may be considered by the court. Kamal Law house. 1872.30-Consideration of proved confession affecting person making it and others jointly under trial for some offence. because the admission of his own guilt operates as a sort of sanction. the court may take into consideration such confession as against such other person as well as against the person who makes such confession..K. and at the same time implicates the another person who is jointly tried with him for the same offence. it can be put into the scale and weighed with the other evidence. but section does not say that the confession is to amount to proof. leaving the weight of the confession to the discretion of the court. 2010 30 AIR 1949 PC 1257 29 23 . Indian Evidence Act.Section 30 S. Their Lordships of the Privy Council. 6th Edition. All that the section says and was necessary to say is that such confession may be taken into consideration against all of them. The section says nothing. not r it would have been desirable to say anything about the evidentiary value of the confession of a co-accused. clearly there must be other evidence. in Bhuboni Sahu vs. OBJECT AND EVIDENTIARY VALUE: The object of this section is that where an accused person unreservedly confesses his own guilt. to some extent. his confession may be taken into consideration against such other person as well as against himself. Justice Nandi A.When more persons than one are being tried jointly for same offence and a confession made by one of such persons affecting himself and some other of such persons is proved.

the court cannot start with the confession of a co.In Kashmira Singh vs. State of Haryana 32 . a conviction could safely be based o it. Therefore. In Pratham vs.31. it is not necessary to call the confession in aid.. in dealing with a case against an accused. State of M.P. the Apex court observed that. and see weather. excluding the confession altogether from consideration. then it is permissible to turn to the confession in order to receive assurance to the conclusion of guilt which the judicial mind is about to reach on the said other evidence. if it is believed. implicate the maker substantially to the same extent as the other accused  The confession of guilt must be duly proved.e. first marshal the evidence against the accused. the Hon‟ble SC observed that the proper way to approach a case of this kind is. it must begin with other evidence adduced by the prosecution and after it has formed its opinion with regard to the quality and effect of the said evidence.accused. “Though confession may be regarded as evidence in generic sense because of the provisions of Section 30 of the Evidence Act but it is not evidence as defined in Section 3 of the Evidence Act. If it is capable of belief independently of the confession. then of course. the following ingredients/conditions must exist/be fulfilled:  There must be joint trial for the same offence  It must be a confession  The confession of guilt must effect himself and others.” INGREDIENTS: Before a statement of one of the accused persons can be taken into consideration against the other accused under section 30 of the act. i. 31 32 AIR 1952 SC 159 AIR 2012 SC 238 24 .

i. Wadhwa and Company Nagpur. TRIED JOINTLY: There must be joint trial of the accused. it is true and trustworthy. Whether the confession was perfectly voluntary. 2006 33 25 . it is not likely that the maker would implicate himself untruly. Normally. the court should not attach any value to the confession.. Satisfaction of the first test is sine qua non for its admissibility in evidence.All the conditions should exist at a time and if any of the conditions is missing in a case this section has no applicability and the accused cannot be roped33. ii. So section 30 provides that such a confession may be taken into consideration even against the co-accused who is being tried along with the maker of the confession. Dhirajlal Ratanlal. In form any cause the accused who made the confession cannot be legally tried with the accused against which the confession is to be used. The Law of Evidence. The joint trial should be legal. and If so. APPLICABILTY OF CONFESSION: The court is to apply a double test for deciding the applicability of a confession i. 22nd Enlarged Edition. if a statement made by an accused person is found to be voluntary and it amounts to a confession in the sense that it implicates the maker.e.

What were the circumstances under which it was made or in what manner was it obtained? 2. if voluntary. they persisted and pressurized him by putting questions and in such process the accused made extra-judicial confession of the offence.” Extra-judicial confession can be accepted as evidence only if the Court is satisfied that it is both voluntary and true. Usually.N. What was the reason for the accused to have confided in the witness who proves it and to have made a clean breast of his action? 34 Arumugham v.. voluntarily made and fully consistent with circumstantial evidences establish the guilt of the accused. the Court should satisfy itself on the following points: 1. it was held that the confession. “An extrajudicial confession. The words used by the accused in confessing are very much important and. It must be received with great caution. was extracted. Further an extra-judicial confession can be accepted without corroboration of evidence if it inspires confidence. the same words would be necessary to give to the court an impression of what the true confession was. Was the confession made by the accused voluntarily? 3. Courts require some material corroboration to an extra.34 The law in regard to extra-judicial confessions may be stated thus. 1994 Cr LJ 520 (Mad).Extra Judicial Confession These are made by the party elsewhere than before a Magistrate or in Court. Slate of T. Where the witnesses asked the accused as to what had happened to the missing girl and on showing his ignorance. 26 . and before it is accepted as a piece of evidence justifying a conviction. and as a matter of caution.judicial confessional statement. Extra-judicial confessions. can be relied upon by the Court along with other evidence in convicting the accused. The exact words used by the accused should always be ascertained. therefore.

If the same is voluntary and made in a fit state of mind. SC 37 AIR 2013 SC 1159 35 27 . http://www. true and trustworthy and if it inspired confidence. State of Tamil Nadu36. It is true that the extra-judicial confession is a weak type of evidence and depends upon the nature of circumstances like the time when the confession was made and the credibility of the witnesses who speak to such a confession. State of Rajisthan37 the accused commited the offence of murder and made confession before his friend. “The law is well settled as to what extent extra-judicial confession can be relied on. or is there any room for a mistake or misapprehension? 5. or have the police. in their eagerness to prove the commission of a crime. though weak type of evidence. put up that witness to prove a confession35.html 36 Criminal Appeal no. Have the words uttered by the accused been correctly reproduced or is the witness improving on the statement which was made to him? 6. He was convicted on the basis of the confession along with other material facts. 1450 of 2009.com/2012032929284/short-notes-on-extra-judicialconfession. the Hon‟ble Supreme Court observed. it can be relied upon along with other materials.” In Sahib Hussain @ Sahib Jan vs.4. Has the witness any personal motive to depose falsely against the accused. Did the witness truly understand the sense of what was stated to him. The Hon‟ble Supreme Court further observed that “The extra judicial confession. can form the basis for conviction if the confession made by the accused is voluntary. In Kumar vs.preservearticles.

and If so. In State vs. Satisfaction of the first test is sine qua non for its admissibility in evidence. ii.C. Therefore. if a statement made by an accused person is found to be voluntary and it amounts to a confession in the sense that it implicates the maker. when in a capital case the prosecution demands conviction of the accused primarily on the ground of his confession recorded under Section 164 Cr. it is true and trustworthy.P. A confession under Section 15 of the TADA Act. if voluntary and truthfully made. 1987. Whether the confession was perfectly voluntary. State of Rajisthan38 has explained the evidentiary value of a confession. It was observed that it is well settled that a confession. it is not likely that the maker would implicate himself untruly. the court must apply a double test i. The Supreme Court in Shankaria vs. So section 30 provides that such a confession may be taken into consideration even against the co-accused who is being tried along with the maker of the confession. is not merely of corroborative nature to be used I support of other evidence. Normally.Evidentiary value of Confession Confessions are considered highly reliable because no rational person would make an admission against himself unless prompted by his conscience to tell the truth. Nalini 39 the court negative the contention that a confessional statement is not a substantive piece of evidence. 38 39 AIR 1978 SC 1248 AIR 1999 SC 3240 28 . it is of substantive nature itself. is an efficacious proof of guilt.

suggesting an inference as to any fact in issue or relevant or deemed to be relevant to any such fact. The act lays down different rule as to their relevancy. whether by acts. on the other hand. oral or written. and that is why S. or writing. All the provisions relating to them are given under the heading of “admission” and that speaks of the legislative intention of treating them as one and the same at least to certain extent. There are many common features between an admission and a confession.Admissions and Confession Distinguished According to Stephen. in fact relevant to the issue.  Thirdly. a confession is the admission of guilt in reference to a crime and. “An admission is a statement. 2 permits a person. which is clearly inconsistent with the truth of his contention. the provisions relating to confessions occur under the heading “admissions”. in respect to the manner in dispute. An “Admission” is a statement of fact. it follows that the word “admission” is more comprehensive and includes confessions too. A confession is only a species of admission. refers to every statement whether it runs against or in favour of the party making it. invariably runs against the interest of the accused. 29 . speech. The term “admission”. The points of difference are as follows:  Firstly. Admissions are admitted because the conduct of a party to a proceeding. made by or on behalf of any party. which waives or disperses with the production of evidence by conceding that the fact asserted by the opponent is true. therefore. But there are obvious points of distinction too. in certain exceptional cases. to prove his own statements. though the definition of admission given under section 17 should equally apply to confessions also because the term “confession” is nowhere defined in the Act. Thus every confession is an admission but every admission is not a confession  Secondly.

an admission made under a promise of secrecy is not relevant. the conditions of relevancy are different. “Confessions which is a terminology used in criminal law is a species of 'admissions' as defined in Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act. but in reference to admissions sections 18. statements of co-plaintiff or those of a co-defendant ae no evidence against the others. But in the case of a confession the law steadfastly adheres to the principle that the confession must be free and voluntary. the effect of an admission is that it does not constitute a conclusive proof of the fact admitted. the apex court distinguished between admission and confession and observed that. It is trite to say that every confession must necessarily be an admission. An admission made to any person whatsoever is relevant whether he be a policeman or a person in authority or whether it was the result of an inducement or a promise.C.T.  Fifthly. Fourthly. Navjot Sidhu @ Afsal Guru40. by virtue of the provision in S. but by virtue of provisions Section 29 a confession is provable even if it was obtained under a promise of secrecy. Which enables the court to draw an inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact. In State (N. As to the value of a confession there is no provision in Evidence Act.  Sixthly.30 the confession of an accused person is relevant against all co-accused who are being tried with him for the same offence.  Seventhly. 19 and 20 regard the statements of certain persons. though it may operate as an estoppel against the party making the admission. oral or documentary. every admission does not necessarily amount to 40 AIR 2005 SC 3820 30 . who are not parties to the case. as admissions against the parties  Lastly. In the case of admissions. but the courts have always regarded confession as a satisfactory proof of the guilt of the accused. but. An admission is a statement. a confession always proceeds from a person who has committed an offence or is accused of any crime. of Delhi) vs.

31 . the law as to confessions is embodied in Sections 24 to 30 of the Evidence Act.a confession . While Sections 17 to 23 deal with admissions.

Wadhwa and Company Nagpur. http://www. The Law of Evidence. Principles of the Law of Evidence. Meer Ali & Woodroffe. Chawlas Law Finder 32 . Butterworths 18th Edition.Bibliography 1. Law of Evidence. Singh Avtar. Polein Murphy. 5th Edition.html 6. Dhirajlal Ratanlal.com/2012032929284/short-notes-on-extrajudicial-confession. 2009 5. Law of Evidence. 2000 4. 20th Edition 3. Universal Publishers.preservearticles. 22nd Enlarged Edition. Central Law Publications. 2006 2.

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