Question: A, an accused writes a letter (in his own handwriting accompanied by his signature) addressing a police officer that he murdered his wife. The letter was found near the dead body of his wife. Is the confession made by A in the letter admissible in evidence against him? Find the answer to the mains question only on… Read More »

Question: A, an accused writes a letter (in his own handwriting accompanied by his signature) addressing a police officer that he murdered his wife. The letter was found near the dead body of his wife. Is the confession made by A in the letter admissible in evidence against him? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, an accused writes a letter (in his own handwriting accompanied by his signature) addressing a police officer that he murdered his wife. The letter was...

Question: A, an accused writes a letter (in his own handwriting accompanied by his signature) addressing a police officer that he murdered his wife. The letter was found near the dead body of his wife. Is the confession made by A in the letter admissible in evidence against him?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, an accused writes a letter (in his own handwriting accompanied by his signature) addressing a police officer that he murdered his wife. The letter was found near the dead body of his wife. Is the confession made by A in the letter admissible in evidence against him?]

Answer

A confession contained in a letter written and signed by the accused and addressed to a police officer was to be held as admissible as the letter was not written in presence of the police officer.

However, there is a dichotomy of the opinion of the courts upon this as clear from various judicial pronouncements.

In Murli v. State of Rajasthan [AIR 1994 SC 610], such a confessional FIR cannot be used for any purpose in favour of the prosecution and against the accused, such a statement can be taken into account to examine whether the case fell under Exception 1 to section 300, IPC particularly when there was no evidence disclosing as to how the quarrel ensued and the attack took place.

In R.V. Hurribole Garth, C.J. said that section 25 is an enactment to which the Court should give ‘the fullest effect. In its widest and most popular signification, the phrase “confession made to a police officer” includes a confession made to a police officer in a letter written to him and subsequently received by him. We should not cut down the wholesome protection of section 25 by refined arguments.

The facts of the present case are borrowed from the case before the Supreme Court of India in Sita Ram v. State Of Uttar Pradesh (1965) in which the court noted that:

“No doubt, the letter contains a confession and is also addressed to police, officer, the act cannot make it a confession made to a police officer which is within the bar created by s. 25 of the Evidence Act. The fact that the police officer was not nearby when the letter was written or knew that it was being written. In such circumstances quite obviously the letter would not have been a confession to the police officer if the words “Sub-Inspector” had not been written. Nor do we think it can become one in similar circumstances only because the words “Sub-Inspector” had been written there. It would still have not been a confession made to a police officer for the simple reason that it was not so made from any point of view.”

The SC held in the case that the confession through the letter is admissible and that it is an additional circumstance that can be pressed in aid in support of the charge against the accused provided it is proved by subsequent evidence to sustain a conviction of the accused.

It is said that the accused made no confession to the sub- Inspector, inasmuch as the officer was ‘not present near the appellant when he wrote the letter. A confession can be made to a police officer by an oral message to him over the telephone or the radio-as-also by a written message

Communicated to him through the post, messenger, or otherwise. The presence or absence ‘of the police officer near the accused is not decisive on the question of whether the confession is hit by section 25. A confession to a stranger though made in the presence of a police officer is not hit by Section 25.

Therefore, a confessional letter written to a police officer and sent to him by post, messenger, or otherwise is not outside the ban of section 25 because the police officer is ignorant of the letter at the moment when it was being written.

In the present case at hand, the accused wrote the letter with the intention that it should be received by the Sub-Inspector, kept it near the dead body, and left the house after locking it. On the basis of the judgment of the SC, it can be concluded that the confession made by A in the letter is admissible in evidence against him because it was not made in the presence of the police.


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 2021-10-05T10:56:17+05:30
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