Question: A, an accused, was overheard by B, while A was muttering to himself a statement amounting to confession. Is the confession relevant? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, an accused, was overheard by B, while A was muttering to himself a statement amounting to confession. Is the confession relevant?] Answer Section… Read More »

Question: A, an accused, was overheard by B, while A was muttering to himself a statement amounting to confession. Is the confession relevant? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, an accused, was overheard by B, while A was muttering to himself a statement amounting to confession. Is the confession relevant?] Answer Section 29 talks about Confession Otherwise Relevant Not to Become Irrelevant Because Of Promise of Secrecy, Etc. It states: in such a confession...

Question: A, an accused, was overheard by B, while A was muttering to himself a statement amounting to confession. Is the confession relevant?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [A, an accused, was overheard by B, while A was muttering to himself a statement amounting to confession. Is the confession relevant?]

Answer

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 admissibility of a confession if it was made under a situation 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.

Phipson on Evidence in his 7th Edn., at p. 262: “A statement which the prisoner had been overheard muttering to himself, if otherwise than in his sleep, is admissible against him if independently proved.”

In the case of Sahoo v. State of UP (AIR 1966 SC 40), the accused was talking to himself and made the confession of killing his own daughter which was overheard by the witness. This was held to be confession relevant in evidence.

In this case, the Sessions Judge in convicting the appellant of murder took into account an extra-judicial confession alleged to have been made by him when shortly after the murder he was muttering to himself that he had finished the deceased. The High Court confirmed the conviction.

In appeal before this Court, it was contended that the muttering of the accused did not amount to a confession as it was implicit in the concept of confession whether judicial or extra-judicial that it should be communicated to another. A man cannot confess to himself; he can only confess to another.

The SC observed the following reasons for its decision:

Sections 24 to 30 of the Evidence Act deal with the admissibility of confessions, but the expression ‘confession’ is not defined. Shortly stated a confession is a statement made by an accused admitting his guilt.

It is not a necessary ingredient of the term confession that it shall be communicated to another. The dictionary meaning of the term does not warrant any such extension, nor the reason of the rule underlying the doctrine of admission or confession demands it. The probative nature of an admission or confession does not depend on its communication to another though just like any other piece of evidence can be admitted in evidence only on proof.

The following illustration pertaining to a written confession brings out the idea: A kills B; enters in his diary that he had killed him, puts it in his drawer and absconds. When he places his act on record he does not communicate to another; indeed he does not have any intention of communicating it to a third party.

Even so at the trial, the said state agent of the accused can certainly be proved as a confession made by him. If that be so in the case of a statement in writing, there cannot be any difference in principle in the case of an oral statement, as held in Bhogilal ChunilalPandya v. State of Bombay, [1959]

However; there is a clear distinction between the admissibility of an item. of evidence and the weight to be attached to it. A confessional soliloquy is a direct piece of evidence. Generally, such soliloquies are mutterings of a confused mind. Before such evidence can be accepted it must be established by cogent evidence what were the exact words used by the accused.

Even if so much was established prudence and justice demand that such evidence cannot be made the sole ground of conviction. It may be used only as a corroborative piece of evidence.

Therefore, in the present case at hand, when, an accused, was overheard by B, while A was muttering to himself a statement amounting to confession. The confession of A can be made relevant 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 2021-11-09T10:31:15+05:30
Admin LB

Admin LB

Next Story