Question: What do you understand by the confession? Discuss the law relating to confessions. At what stage can such confession be recorded? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by the confession? Discuss the law relating to confessions. At what stage can such confession be recorded?] Answer According to Sir James… Read More »

Question: What do you understand by the confession? Discuss the law relating to confessions. At what stage can such confession be recorded? Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by the confession? Discuss the law relating to confessions. At what stage can such confession be recorded?] Answer According to Sir James Stephen who drafted the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 “If an accused at any time admits an offence for which he is charged for then it...

Question: What do you understand by the confession? Discuss the law relating to confessions. At what stage can such confession be recorded?

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [What do you understand by the confession? Discuss the law relating to confessions. At what stage can such confession be recorded?]

Answer

According to Sir James Stephen who drafted the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 “If an accused at any time admits an offence for which he is charged for then it is called as Confession.” The classic case to define confession is Pakala Narayan Swami v. Emperor. In this case, His Lordship (as he was then) Lord Atkins spoke for the Privy Council and observed that “A confession must either admit in terms the offence or at any rate substantially all the facts which constitute the offence.

The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 doesn’t give the definition of confession but admission is defined under Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. However, the confession is also a sub-specie of admission of the commission of an offence or a statement made by the accused in which he completely admits to the alleged commission of an offence.

A confession can only be recorded by a Judicial Magistrate or a Metropolitan Magistrate. The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 contains four essential provisions that deal with confession before a Judicial or Metropolitan Magistrate.

Section 163 mandates that the accused person or the confessing person must not be induced or threatened to confess the offence even if evidence shows that he is the offender.

Section 164 of the Code lays down the procedure to be followed whenever a confession is being made and its evidentiary value in a court of law. Section 281 lays down the manner in which a confessional statement is to be recorded and lastly, Section 463 deals with the effect of procedural irregularity on the admissibility of a confession.

A confession (or even an admission) is only admissible only against the person who makes it based on the same principle it was said in the case of State of Maharashtra v. Kamal Ahmed Mohammed Vakil [(2013) 12 SCC 17], that “a confession is permissible/admissible only as against the person who has made it unless the same is rendered inadmissible under some express provision.” So we can conclude from it that the person who is confessing (or admitting) must be a party to the proceeding because only in that way can we be able to use the confession (or admission) against him.

In Palvinder Kaur v. State of Punjab (1953 SCR 94) the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Privy council in Pakala Narayan Swami v. Emperor (AIR 1939 PC 47) and cited two points: confession must either admit the guilt in terms or admit substantially all the facts and secondly, a mixed-up statement, containing confessional statements which will lead to acquittal is no confession.

Stage of recording confessions

Section 164 of the code gives power to the Metropolitan Magistrate or judicial magistrate to record confessions and statements during the course of an investigation under chapter 12 or under any law for the time being in force, or at any time afterwards before the commencement of the inquiry or trial.

As the Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that Sat Kumar v. State of Haryana, AIR 1974 SC 294 that the phrase “In the course of an investigation” used in sub-section (1) imports that the statement has to be made not only after the investigation has started, but as a step in, or in conscious prosecution of, the investigation itself. So, where the police officer, after registering a case and obtaining the FIR, proceeded to the spot in the course of the investigation, any statement recorded by him there will be hit by this section.


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Updated On 9 May 2022 9:35 AM GMT
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