Question: Can a retracted extra-judicial confession be made the basis of conviction? If the answer is in the affirmative under what circumstances? Delhi H.J.S. 2001. [U.P.C.J. 2000, Bihar C.J. 1979 R.J.S. 2000] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Can a retracted extra-judicial confession be made the basis of conviction? If the answer is… Read More »

Question: Can a retracted extra-judicial confession be made the basis of conviction? If the answer is in the affirmative under what circumstances? Delhi H.J.S. 2001. [U.P.C.J. 2000, Bihar C.J. 1979 R.J.S. 2000] Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Can a retracted extra-judicial confession be made the basis of conviction? If the answer is in the affirmative under what circumstances?] Answer A retracted confession is a statement made by an accused person before the...

Question: Can a retracted extra-judicial confession be made the basis of conviction? If the answer is in the affirmative under what circumstances? Delhi H.J.S. 2001. [U.P.C.J. 2000, Bihar C.J. 1979 R.J.S. 2000]

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Can a retracted extra-judicial confession be made the basis of conviction? If the answer is in the affirmative under what circumstances?]

Answer

A retracted confession is a statement made by an accused person before the trial begins by which he admits to having committed the offence but which he repudiates at the trial.

When a confession is retracted the fact of such retraction has a bearing on the question of whether it is voluntary or true and for deciding whether the retracted confession was voluntary or not court shall consider all attendant factors which throw light on the nature of the confession such as:

(a) Reason given by accused of giving the confession

(b) Circumstances alleged by accused which throw doubt on voluntary nature of confession such as inducement, threat or pressure from police.

(c) Material discrepancies between the testimony of eyewitnesses and the contents of a confession.

(d) Peculiar facts and circumstances under which the accused made a confession.

Evidentiary value of retracted confession

The amount of credibility to be attached to a retracted confession would depend upon the circumstances of each particular case

The rules regarding a confession, which is subsequently retracted, are:

  1. that a confession is not to be regarded as involuntary merely because it is retracted;
  2. as against the maker of the confession the retracted confession may form the basis of a conviction if it is believed to be true and voluntarily made;
  3. as against the co-accused, both prudence and caution require the court not to rely on a retracted confessional without independent corroborative evidence.
  4. retraction should not be ambiguous vague or imaginary.

The corroboration should not only confirm the general story of the alleged crime but must also connect the accused with it.

The Supreme Court observed in State of UP v. Boota Singh, AIR 1978 SC 1770 that as, however, the confession was a retracted one it could be acted upon only if substantially corroborated by independent circumstances. It is not necessary that retracted confession should be corroborated in each material particular, it is sufficient that there is a general corroboration of the important incidents mentioned in the confession.

The Supreme Court has held that there can be no absolute rule that a retracted confession cannot be acted upon unless it is corroborated materially. But as a matter of prudence and caution which has sanctified itself into a rule of law, a retracted confession cannot be made solely the basis of conviction unless it is corroborated.

In Puran v. State of Punjab (I), AIR 1953 SC 459 court stated: “It is a settled rule of evidence that unless a retracted confession is corroborated in material particulars, it is not prudent to base a conviction in a criminal case on its strength alone.”

Further, In State of Maharashtra v. P.K. Pathak, AIR 1980 SC 1224 Supreme Court held that- It is settled that as a matter of prudence and caution which has sanctified itself into Rule of law, a retracted confession cannot be made solely on the basis of conviction unless the same is corroborated in the material term.

Therefore, it is unsafe to base a conviction on a retracted confession unless it is corroborated by trustworthy evidence.


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 2021-09-29T06:08:37+05:30
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