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section 26

Supreme Court of India

Ajay Singh vs State Of Maharashtra on 6 June, 2007

The expression 'confession' is not defined in the Evidence Act, 'Confession' is a statement made by an accused which must either admit in terms the offence, or at any rate substantially all the facts which constitute the offence. The dictionary meaning of the word 'statement' is "act of stating; that which is stated; a formal account, declaration of facts etc." The word 'statement' includes both oral and written statement. Communication to another is not however an essential component to constitute a 'statement'. An accused might have been over-heard uttering to himself or saying to his wife or any other person in confidence. He might have also uttered something in soliloquy. He might also keep a note in writing. All the aforesaid nevertheless constitute a statement. It such statement is an admission of guilt, it would amount to a confession whether it is communicated to another or not. This very question came up for consideration before this Court in Sahoo v. State of Uttar Pradesh, AIR 1966 SC 40: (1966 Cr1 U 68). After referring to some passages written by well known authors on the "Law of Evidence" Subba Rao, J. (as he then was) held that "communication is not a necessary ingredient to constitute confession". In paragraph 5 of the judgment, this Court held as follows:

...Admissions and confessions are exceptions to the hearsay rule. The Evidence Act places them in the category of relevant evidence presumably on the ground that as they are declarations against the interest of the person making them, they are probably true. The probative value of an admission or a confession goes not to depend upon its communication to another, though, just like any other piece of evidence, it can be admitted in evidence only on proof. This proof in the case of oral admission or confession can be offered only by witnesses who heard the admission pr confession. as the case may be.... If, as we have said, statement is the genus and confession is only a sub-species of that genus, we do not see any reason why the statement implied in the confession should be given a different meaning.

Supreme Court of India

Tarseem Kumar vs Delhi Administration on 18 August, 1994

The only remaining circumstance to be dealt with is the alleged disclosure made by the appellant and recovery of blood stained clothes belonging to the appellant at his instance. In view of Section 27 of the Evidence Act, there was no difficulty in accepting this evidence and to consider the same along with other circumstances if proved beyond all reasonable doubt. But the unfortunate feature of the present case, which has also been noticed by the Trial Court, is that many witnesses who can be said to be the stock witnesses to the police, have been produced on behalf of the prosecution to prove important circumstances. In this back-ground the Court has to be very cautions about the investigation done by the police in this case. The circumstance regarding the recovery of the blood stained clothes belonging to the appellant, on the disclosure made by him, has to be examined in the background of the witnesses like PW9, PW8 and 30, PWs2 and 3, on whom it is difficult to place any reliance for the reasons mentioned above. It is not possible to hold that the vital links of the prosecution case which are necessary to be proved before a finding can be recorded, that the chain of evidence is complete, have been proved beyond reasonable doubt. If the evidence of PWs2 and 3 are rejected, then the main circumstantial evidence that the appellant was in exclusive pos-sesion of the room in question and he had got the pit dug by PWs2 and 3 in which the dead body of the victim was found in the night of 18.10.1974, shall be deemed to have not been proved.