Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Section 24 of the Criminal Code deals with confessions gained via coercion, fear or promise that are unconnected to the criminal proceeding.
  • Confession is divided into two distinct profiles: judicial confession and extrajudicial confession
  • Sections 24, 25, and the relevant section of Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 deal with the circumstances in which a confession might be irrelevant.

INTRODUCTION

Though the term "confession" is neither defined or specified in the Indian Evidence Act, the inference outlined in Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act also applies to confession in the same way. Section 17 specifically states that any remark whether oral or written made for the purpose of reaching a conclusion on the fact in question or the related facts is admissible.Confession, in its most basic form is the acknowledgement of guilt or wrongdoing. It is first mentioned in legislation in Section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act. Section 24 deals with confessions obtained via coercion, fear or promise where they are unrelated to the criminal case.Lord Atkin stated in Pakala Narayan Swami v Emperor that a confession must either recognize all of the facts that make up the crime in terms of the offence or at the very least, significantly. Recognizing a gravely embarrassing reality even a definitively incriminating fact is not the same as confessing.

The Supreme Court upheld the Privy Council's decision in the Pakala Narayan Swami case in Palvinder Kaur V. State of Punjab, and substantiated their arguments with two arguments: first, the definition of confession only exists when the statements conferring the admission that he is either guilty of any offence or the admission is probing all the facts that constitute the offence. Second, when a statement includes a variety of traits and involves a mixture of confessional comments that culminate in the acquittal of the person making the confession it cannot be regarded a confession.

The Supreme Court stated in Nishi Kant Jha v State of Bihar that there is no harm in relying on some parts of statements confessed by the accused while ignoring the other parts. The court derived this concept from English law and when the court determines that it has enough evidence to disregard the exculpatory part of the confession it may rely on the inculpatory part of the confession.

Finally, we may deduce that the term ‘confession’ refers to any remarks made by an accused that show his guilt. And there is just a sliver of a difference between the two terminologies of the Indian Evidence Act: admission is the same as admission since a confession only results in the accused admitting guilt. A confession or confessional statement is when a person accused of a crime makes any declaration against him that might be used to show his guilt. Confessions are enhancements of admittance which makes them unique; as a result the famous saying goes, "All Confessions are Admissions, but Not All Admissions are Confessions."

The court in Baburao Bajirao Patil v. State of Maharashtra explained the principle that "the Court before ascertaining the facts for the purpose of deciding the facts in issues of the case, should first ascertain the case facts with all other evidences possible related to the case and then only it shall turn to the approach of confession by the accused in order to administer complete justice to the conclusion of guilt of the accused."

CONFESSIONS OF DIFFERENT KINDS AND THEIR EVIDENTIARY VALUE

A confession can take several forms depending on the nature of the case. Confession is divided into two distinct profiles: judicial confession and extrajudicial confession. When a confession is given in a court of law by means of declarations it is referred to as a judicial confession; when a confession is given in a location other than a court it is referred to as an extrajudicial confession.The diverse collections of confessions do not have the same evidential values as some and the circumstances of how and when these confessions are produced both degrade and increase their worth.The unusual component of confession is that it frequently involves a dialogue with oneself and this aspect was highlighted in the case of Sahoo v. the State of Uttar Pradesh. Where the defendant murdered his son's freshly wedded wife because he typically has significant disagreements with her, and where the defendant murdered his daughter-in-law many people living there saw and heard him mumble phrases while declaring, "I completed her and now I'm free of any regular quarrels."In this instance, the court stated that the accused's declaration or self-discussion must be taken as a confession in order to show his guilt. Such a confession should be considered as acceptable evidence in the administration of justice and the fact that the allegations are not communicated to anybody else does not negate the confession's importance.As a result, self-confession is also quality testimony that would be considered acceptable evidence in a court of law.

  • Judicial Confession: Section 80 of the Indian Evidence Act gives judicial confessions evidentiary value, stating that if a confession is made in the presence of a magistrate or in a court and is recorded by the magistrate as required by law the confession is presumed to be true and genuine and the accused can be tried for the crime. Because section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code enables magistrates to record confessions, it is not required to know which magistrate recorded the confession unless he is prohibited from doing so. As a result, in order to raise the presumptionthe accused's identification must be obvious and proven in the confession in order to pursue him for the crime he did.To summarize, judicial confessions are those given freely by a person in a sound state of mind in the course of legal procedures before a judge or in court. A judicial confession has been defined as "plea of guilty on arrangement (made before a court)."
  • Extra Judicial Confession:These are statements made by the accused outside of a courtroom or while in jail. It is not required to address the comments to anybody in particular. It may have started with a request. It might be a private individual's confession."A free and voluntary confession of guilt by a person accused with a crime in the course of a conversation with individuals other than the court or magistrate seized of the accusation against him," according to the definition of an extrajudicial confession.Following the committing of a crime, a man may write a letter to his father or a friend expressing his regret. It's possible that this is a confession. Extrajudicial confessions can be recognized and if they pass the legitimacy test, they can be used as the basis for a case.Extrajudicial confessions are made in front of a private individual, with the participation of a judicial officer acting in his personal capacity. It also entails receiving the confession from a magistrate who is not authorized to record confessions under section 164 of the CrPC or a magistrate who is authorized but not at a stage when section 164 does not apply.Although, in contrast to judicial confession, extra-judicial confession has little evidential value, the documentation of the accused is one of the greatest proofs available to the court for charging the accused of the crime in the event of a written confession.If the confession is not available in writing form, the court may examine the defendant's oral confession to another person. The accused's words to any other person may be acceptable under the court's judgement and compliance and the accused may therefore be found guilty of the offence for which he is charged.
  • Retracted Confession:Retracted confessions provide circumstantial evidence that when a crime is committed, the police investigate the case and analyze the witnesses, facts in dispute, the accused and many other factors. If the investigation finds that the accused is guilty of a specific crime, the police will file a report with the appropriate judge or court. The magistrate must gather pieces of evidence and interrogate the accused during the court proceedings and if the court finds someone guilty of any particular offence based on the investigation report, the court will order the accused to confess the statements again.When the trial begins the magistrate must question the accused if he is guilty of an offence or not, and if the accused does not plead guilty, he may retract any statements given to the police throughout the investigation and must justify his retracted statements. As withdrawn material only has circumstantial evidentiary value the court must proceed with caution when drawing any conclusions.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN JUDICIAL AND EXTRA JUDICIAL CONFESSION

Judicial confessions are those given to a judicial magistrate under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. During committal hearings, procedures or in front of the judge. Extra-judicial confessions, on the other hand, are those made to anybody other than those authorized by law. It may be made to any entity or police officer in their personal capacity during the prosecution of a crime.To corroborate the judicial confession, the person to whom the judicial confession is made does not need to be summoned as a witness. Extra-judicial confession, on the other hand, is demonstrated by having the individual who makes the extra-judicial confession as a witness.If the judicial confession seems voluntary and real to the court, it can be used as proof of guilt against the condemned defendant. Extrajudicial confessions on the other hand cannot be relied on without the help of additional supporting evidence.

IRRELEVANT CONFESSION

Sections 24, 25, and the relevant section of Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, deal with the circumstances in which a confession might be irrelevant.In Section 24 of the same Act, numerous situations are described in which a confession based on such circumstances becomes immaterial. Section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act states that a confession made by a person accused of an offence is irrelevant if the confession was obtained through any inducement, threat, or promise and the inducement, threat, or promise came from a person in authority such as a police officer, magistrate, or court. Another condition of this section is that the inducement, threat, or promise must be in relation to the charge of an offence and all such inducements, threats, or promises must provide benefit of the law.We may break down the entire structure into four separate elements for a better understanding:

  • Confessions must be made as a result of coercion, threat, or promise, among other things.
  • A person in a position of power should make such a confession.
  • It should be relevant to the charge at hand.
  • It should have either a time advantage or a temporal disadvantage.

As a result, once these requirements are met, the confession becomes immaterial.

CONFESSION IN FURTHER DISCOVERY OF FACTS

Section 27 expands on the notion of the relevance of information obtained from the accused through irrelevant confessions given to police or while in police custody, which may aid in the future investigation of the facts of the case. Section 27 of the Criminal Code states that when a truth is forcibly found while getting information from an accused during a police investigation or while in police custody and where such information leads to the discovery of additional pertinent facts, it may be definitively proven.While deciding the case in Pandu Rang KalluPatil v. State of Maharashtra, the court stated that Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act was enacted to lift and remove the ban provided in Sections 25 and 26 of the Act in such a way that- Section 25 and 26 of the Act absolutely prohibits the admission of any confession made to the police or while in police custody, but the objects of Section 27 allow the admission of statements made by an accused even to a police officer and the objective of Section.

CONCLUSION

We must conclude that the term "confession" refers to any assertions made by an accused that establishes his guilt. A confession or confessional statement by a person guilty of any crime is any charge levelled against him that may be used to show his guilt. Confessions are admission improvements that distinguish it, hence the phrase "All confessions are admissions, but not all admissions are confessions" is frequently used.The court stated in BaburaoBajiraoPatil v. State of Maharashtra that "before the Court ascertains the facts for the purpose of determining the facts of the case, it should begin to establish the facts of the case with all other potential evidence relating to the case, and then only turn to the approach of confession by the accused for the purpose of administering the case."


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