Question: A, a turnkey promised to post a letter given to him by a prisoner and addressed to the prisoner’s father. The letter contained a confession, and the turnkey sent it to the prosecutor instead of posting it as promised. Is the confession contained in the letter relevant? [D.J.S. Exam., 1996] Find the answer to the mains question… Read More »

Question: A, a turnkey promised to post a letter given to him by a prisoner and addressed to the prisoner’s father. The letter contained a confession, and the turnkey sent it to the prosecutor instead of posting it as promised. Is the confession contained in the letter relevant? [D.J.S. Exam., 1996] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, a turnkey promised to post a letter given to him by a prisoner and addressed to the prisoner’s father. The letter contained...

Question: A, a turnkey promised to post a letter given to him by a prisoner and addressed to the prisoner’s father. The letter contained a confession, and the turnkey sent it to the prosecutor instead of posting it as promised. Is the confession contained in the letter relevant? [D.J.S. Exam., 1996]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, a turnkey promised to post a letter given to him by a prisoner and addressed to the prisoner’s father. The letter contained a confession, and the turnkey sent it to the prosecutor instead of posting it as promised. Is the confession contained in the letter relevant?]

Answer

The Promise of Secrecy: The confession will not become inadmissible obtained from the accused by a promise of secrecy.

Section 29 talks about Confession Otherwise Relevant Not to Become Irrelevant Because Of Promise of Secrecy, Etc. It states: in such a confession is otherwise relevant, it does not become irrelevant merely because it was made under a promise of secrecy, or in consequence of deception practiced on the accused person for the purpose of obtaining it, or when he was drunk, or because it was made in answer to the question which he need not have answered, whatever may have been the form of those questions, because he was not warned that he was not bound to make such confession, and that evidence if it might be given against him.

Section 29 provides that there is no bar to the admissibility of a confession even if it was made under the promise of secrecy. Under this section a confession made by an accused is relevant even if it can be excluded from being proved under the following circumstances:

  1. When it was made to the accused under a promise of secrecy;
  2. By practicing deception on the accused;
  3. When the accused was drunk:
  4. In answer to the question which the accused need not have to answer: or
  5. When no prior warning was given to the accused that he was not bound to make any confession and that might be used against him.

In the case of Rangappa Hanamappa And Anr. v. State [AIR 1954 Bom 285] the accused made their confession to a commissioned officer of the regiment who stated to the accused that he had already obtained information from another person.

He promised secrecy if they told him the truth. It was held that the alleged deceptions inducement was covered by the provision of section 29. It does not make a confession inadmissible though a confession is thus created in the mind of the prisoner and he is thrown off his guard.

In the case of Rex v. Shaw, (1834) 6 C&P 372, when a person, accused of a crime, confesses his crime to another inmate and asks him to take an oath that he will not disclose what he has to say. After this, the accused makes a statement. In such a case, it was held that the inducement to confess was not of nature so as to make the confession inadmissible.

Therefore, in the present case at hand, when A, a turnkey promised to post a letter given to him by a prisoner and addressed to the prisoner’s father. The fact that the letter contained a confession of the prisoner, and the turnkey sent it to the prosecutor instead of posting it as promised. Such confession of the prisoner is relevant and shall be held to be made admissible against him.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-11-09T10:38:10+05:30
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