The murder came into light on 5 April 2021 at Mangolpuri, when police got a call regarding a man lying injured. Reached at spot and tracked down that the man bludgeoned to death. While there was no eyewitness to prove their involvement. Police managed to elicit a confession from the accused by saying that the area in which a person was killed is under continuous surveillance of NASA’s satellite cameras and that their entire act has been recorded. Thinking their act has been caught, the two allegedly confessed to having committed the murder. Basically, NASA stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA is a U.S. government agency that is responsible for the science and technology related to air and space. Started in the year 1957 with the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik. And, NASA satellites help scientists study Earth and space.
MEANING OF CONFESSION
Confession is an admission made at any time by a person charged with an offence stating or suggesting the inference that he/she has committed the crime. The word “confession” appears for the first came into light in the Section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act and this section comes under the heading of Admission, so it’s crystal clear is that, it is the species of Admission only. Confession is not defined under the Indian Evidence Act. Justice Stephen in his Digest of the law of Evidence stated confession as “confession is an admission made at any time by a person charged with a crime stating or suggesting the inference that he committed that crime”
In the case of Ram Singh v. State, All. L.J. 660 1958. All. C.R. 462; The acid test which distinguishes a confession from an admission is that when conviction can be based on a statement alone, it is a “Confession and where some supplementary evidence is required to authorise a conviction, then it is admission.
EVIDENTIARY VALUE OF CONFESSION
A confession when proved and announced as relevant in the court of law, it is called an evidentiary value of confession. Evident should be demonstrated in the court in front of the judges during court proceedings. The confession of the victim and accused is the most valuable and important in the court of law.
TYPES OF CONFESSION
Confession is of two types namely Judicial Confession and Extra-Judicial Confession. Judicial Confession is a confession that is done in the immediate presence of the magistrate whereas all other confession are extra-judicial confessions. An extra-judicial confession may be made in front of police officer or an investigation officer or to any other person. An extra-judicial confession can be done to anybody except to the police officer or an investigation officer wants corroboration which means the evidence that tends to support a proposition that is already supported by some initial evidence, hence confirming the proposition. Also, such confessions are may seen with doubt as compared to the others.
• WHEN CONFESSION NOT RELEVANT AND IN ADMISSIBLE IN LAW
Section 24 of Indian Evidence Act- A confession made by an accused person is meaningless in a criminal proceeding, if the making of the confession appears to the Court to have been caused by the result of any inducement, threat or promise. Confession is admissible only when it is voluntary. Confession done in threat, inducement or promise are not voluntary in nature, hence non-admissible.
• CUSTODIAL CONFESSION
Section 25 and Section 26 are often referred as Custodial Confession.
Section 25 of Indian Evidence Act- Confession made to the police officer is not admissible in the court of law. This provision is basically to prevent the practices of torture in the custody of police.
In the case of Ram Singh v. Sate of Maharashtra, 1999 Cr LJ 3763 (Bom); Any confessional statement made by accused before the police is not admissible as evidence and cannot be considered on record by the prosecution and is non-sufficient to convict the accused.
Section 26 of Indian Evidence Act- Confession made to the police officer is not admissible in the court of law except when the confession is made by an accused in front of a magistrate. Means confession made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate, is admissible in the court of law.
• CONFESSION WHEN RELEVANT
Section 27 of Indian Evidence Act- In the police custody, when any fact is discovered in the consequence of information received from a person accused of any offence, such information as relates to that fact discovered can be proved or taken into consideration by the court of law.
In the case of Pandu Rang Kallu v. Sate of Maharashtra, the Supreme Court held that the Section 27 of Indian Evidence Act was enacted as a proviso. The provisions of Section 25 and 26 put a complete ban on admissibility of confession to police or at anyone while in the custody. In spite of the fact, the ban would be lifted in the matter concerned with the discovery of facts. The main objective to permit certain part of statement of confession made to police officer whether or not such statement is confessional or non- confessional.
Section 28 of Indian Evidence Act- Confession made after the removal of impression caused by inducement, threat or promise, is relevant in the court of law.
Section 29 of the Indian Evidence Act- Confession does not become irrelevant merely because it was made under a promise of secrecy, or in consequence of a deception practised on the accused person for the purpose of obtaining it, or when he was drunk, or because it was made in answer to questions which he need not have answered, whatever may have been the form of those questions, or because he was not warned that he was not bound to make such confession, and that confession might be admissible in the court.
Section 30 of the Indian Evidence Act- When more than one person is tried jointly for the same offence, and a confession made by one from them, the confession may take into consideration by the court against such person who are tried jointly for the same offence.
It’s not in the nature of evidence but can be taken against the accused person in the trial. Application of scope is limited.
Illustration- X and Y are jointly tried for the murder of Z. It is proved that X said ––“Y and I murdered Z”. The Court may consider the effect of this confession as against Y.
IMPORTANT CASE LAWS
In the case of Pakala Narayana Swami v. Emperor, 1939 41 BOMLR 428; it was seen that a confession must be accepted either in relation to the offence or all the facts constituting the crime are relevant at any point.
In the case of Plavinder Kaur v. State of Punjab, 1952 AIR 354; Supreme Court supports the decision of the Privy Council over the explanation that, confession must either confess the guilt or that it fully acknowledges all the evidence. Besides, a blended statement, that will result in acquittal, including any confessional arguments, is no confession. The Court cannot eliminate the exculpatory portion of an argument and will issue the judgement on the basis of the statement’s inculpatory segment.
In C.K. Ravendram v. State of Kerala, AIR 2000 SC 369; it was held that if a person confesses to the commission of an offense, the same can be used in the Court against him or her for the crime for which he made the confession, but it must have been voluntarily done.
In the case of Satish Chandra Seal v. Emperor, AIR 1943 Cal 137; held that a statement made by the accused cannot be used against other co- accused because the nature of offence committed by them can be different.
In the case of Nishi Kant Jha v. State of Bihar, 1959 SCR 1033; the Supreme court indicated that there was nothing wrong or relying on a part of the confessional statement and rejecting the rest, and for the motive, the court drew support from English authorities. When there is enough evidence to reject the exculpatory part of the accused person’s statements, the court may rely on the inculpatory part.
The great application of the Indian Evidence Act is seen in the real life where an accused confesses their crime and has been captured by unexisting NASA satellite. Weird to hear but true.