Questions: Can a Confession of an Accused he used Against a Co-accused? What is the evidentiary value of such a confession? [U.P.C.J. 2016, U.P.H.J.S. 1996, BIHAR J. 1991, M.P.J. 2013] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Can a Confession of an Accused he used Against a Co-accused? What is the evidentiary value of… Read More »

Questions: Can a Confession of an Accused he used Against a Co-accused? What is the evidentiary value of such a confession? [U.P.C.J. 2016, U.P.H.J.S. 1996, BIHAR J. 1991, M.P.J. 2013] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Can a Confession of an Accused he used Against a Co-accused? What is the evidentiary value of such a confession?] Answer The confession of one of two or more accused jointly tried for the same offence can be taken into consideration against...

Questions: Can a Confession of an Accused he used Against a Co-accused? What is the evidentiary value of such a confession? [U.P.C.J. 2016, U.P.H.J.S. 1996, BIHAR J. 1991, M.P.J. 2013]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Can a Confession of an Accused he used Against a Co-accused? What is the evidentiary value of such a confession?]

Answer

The confession of one of two or more accused jointly tried for the same offence can be taken into consideration against the co-accused under section 30 of the Indian Evidence Act.

This section comes into play when more than one person is jointly accused of the same offence. Here, if one of the co-accused makes a confession regarding himself and some other such persons, the court will take that confession into account against the accused and his co-accused.

Illustration: (a) A and B are jointly tried for the murder of C. It is proved that A said—”B and I murdered C”. The Court may consider the effect of this confession as against B.

(b) A is on his trial for the murder of C. There is evidence to show that C was murdered by A and B, and that B said—”A and I murdered C”. This statement may not be taken into consideration by the Court against A, as B is not being jointly tried.

Under this section, a confession by one person may be taken into consideration against another—

1. if both of them are tried jointly;

There should be a joint trial of the accused. The joint trial should be legal. If from any cause the accused who made the confession cannot be legally tried with the accused against whom the confession is to be used, the court should not attach any value to the confession.

2. if they are tried for the same offence; and

Same offence” means an identical offence and not an offence of the same kind. To make a joint trial legal, the accusation must be a real one and not merely an excuse for joinder of charges which otherwise cannot be joined.

3. if the confession is legally proved

The Supreme Court has observed that the confession of a co-accused if legally proved cannot be elevated to the status of substantive evidence which can form the basis of conviction of co-accused.

The court in the case of Queen-Empress v. Jagrup, [(1885) 7 All 646, 648] explained the object of section 30 as:

“The object of this section is that where an accused person unreservedly confesses his own guilt, and at the same time implicates another person who is jointly tried with him for the same offence, his confession may be taken into consideration against such other person as well as against himself, because the admission of his own guilt operates as a sort of sanction, which, to some extent, takes the place of the sanction of an oath and so affords some guarantee that the whole statement is a true one.”

In Kashmira Singh v. State of MP (AIR 1952 SC159), a person named Gurbachan, along with 3 others was accused of the murder of a child. Through his confession, the prosecution was able to give shape to the story and he, with Kashmira Singh was held liable and sentenced to death.

Kashmira was acquitted by the Supreme Court on an appeal as uncorroborated confession was not deemed enough to deprive a person of the right to life. The SC observed that: The confession may be considered by the court, but the section does not say that the confession is to amount to proof; clearly, there must be other evidence.

The confession is only one element in the consideration of all the facts proved in the case; it can be put into the scale and weighed with the other evidence.

It is to be noted that where more persons than one are jointly tried for the same offence, the confession made by one of them, if admissible in evidence at all, should be taken into consideration against all the accused, and not against the person alone who made it. This section is an exception to the rule that the confession of one person is entirely inadmissible against another.

The evidentiary value of section 30 was discussed in the case of Pancho v. State of Haryana [(2011) 10 SCC 165], in which SC held that confessions of a co-accused aren’t the substantive piece of evidence and that it can only be used to confirm the conclusion drawn from other evidence in a criminal trial.


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 2021-11-09T06:19:31+05:30
Admin LB

Admin LB

Next Story