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Admission and Confession

Q.2 Define admission. admission can only be proved against the maker. is there any exception to this law? Distinguish between admission and confession.

Admission and confession are an important topics of the Indian evidence act. The court requires proof of everything which is generally termed as evidence. On the other hand Admission and Confession act as a waiver of proof due to various reasons. Admission is not conclusive proof of matters admitted but they may operate as an estoppel. It means once you admit any statement you cannot deny it.  
Admission is a statement given by a party of suit or proceeding whether in the form of oral, written, or any electronic medium if such statement inference to fact-in-issue or relevant fact. We can also say that admission is the voluntary acknowledgment of the existence of the fact. Admission is a statement of fact which waives or dispense with the production of evidence by conceding that the fact asserted by the opponent is true.

According to section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act, admission is a statement(oral, documentary or contained in electronic form) that suggest any inference as to any existence of fact-in-issue or relevant fact.  

For an example a person is charged with causing death by poisoning and he admits to have purchased poison. This statement suggests the inference that he is guilty of Murder unless he can prove that he needed the poison for some innocent purposes.

If I say I went there on this date and time where crime caused, this is an admission but when I say that I have committed this crime, This is a confession. Every confession is admission but every admission is not a confession. Admission wherever it can be used as evidence against him who makes.  

This section points to three things. It first defines “admission” in terms of a statement which may be an oral, documentary, or any electronic form. Secondly, the section says that admission will be relevant only if it is made by any of the persons specified in the act. Thirdly this section says that it will be relevant only in the mention of the circumstances in the act.

Reason for relevancy of Admission
Admission is relevant evidence. Admission is admitted because the conduct of Party to a proceeding, in respect of the matter in dispute, whether by acts, speech, or writing, which is clearly inconsistent with the truth of his contention, is a fact relevant to a fact in issue. several reasons have been suggested for receiving admission in evidence.

Admission is a waiver of proof- This is the first reason of admission is relevant. Any fact has been admitted by any party of suit or proceeding that does not need to prove against him. It operates as a waiver of proof. However, admission constitutes a very weak kind of evidence, and the court may an admission wholly or in a part or may require further proof. Waiver of proof, thus cannot be an exclusive reason for relevancy of an admission  

for example, Suresh admits that it is his knife which was recovered from where the murder was caused, his admission would be considered as truth, no need to prove it is not his knife because of this knife inference to the relevant fact as it was recovered from the place of murder. 

so we can say that if the party voluntarily has admitted a fact, it dispenses with the necessity of proving that fact against him. It operates as a waiver of proof. According to section 56 Indian evidence Act 1872, any such fact does not need to prove which the party of section 18 of the Indian evidence Act agrees to admit during the trial or before trial but has agreed to admit by reducing into writing. But the court has discriminatory power he may reject an admission either wholly or in part or may require further proof. waiver of proof, therefore cannot be an exclusive reason for the relevancy of an admission

Admission as a statement against interest - The second reason is that an admission being a statement against the interest of making, should be supposed to be true. It is highly improbable that a person will voluntarily make a false statement against his own interest but this also does not squarely account for the relevancy of admissions. Section 17 does not require that admission should be a statement against one's own interest    

for an example a person is giving a statement against his favor such statement would be considered as truth, but he is giving a statement in his favor off course it would be doubtful, he has to proof from other sources;  

Admission as evidence of contradictory statement - When evidence of admission clears that there is a contraction between the party's statement and his case. This kind of contradiction discredits his case. However, a party can prove all his opponent's statement about the fact of the case and it is not necessary that the should be inconsistent with the case.

For an example, "A" sues "B" upon recovery of the loan, but account books show that he has given a loan to "C", this account books is evidence of admission which contradicts his case against B

Admission as evidence of the truth:- This is the most widely accepted reason that whatever statements a party makes about the fact of the case, whether they be for or against his interest should be relevant as a representation or reflecting the truth against him. it means whatever we say about the fact of the case it becomes evidence,  such evidence can be used against us whenever we will turn down.

For example, a person is charged with causing death by poisoning and he admits to have purchased poison so in this case what he admitted can be used as evidence against him 

The person whose admissions are relevant
This section deals with whose admission are relevant, there are some parties in case whose relations are with fact in issue or relevant fact so the admission of those parties are relevant and this is the general rule admission of the stranger is irrelevant   
As per section 18 of Indian evidence act 1872 statement made by party to the proceeding, or by any agent to such party, whom the court regards, under circumstances of the case as expressly or impliedly authorized by him to make them are admissions
so section 18 lays down that five classes of person who can make admission
  1. Party to proceeding
  2. Agent Authorized by such party
  3. the party suing or sued in a representing character making admission while holding such character
  4. The person who has any proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject matter of the proceeding during the continuance of such interest 
  5. The person from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject matter of the suit during the continuance of such interest
So admission of above all parties are relevant, admission of except above parties is not relevant  

Exception of Admission

The general rule of admission is that the only party of under section 18 is relevant but section 19 and 20 section is the exception of Section 18. Admission of the third part even he is not the party of the suit is also relevant 

A person who is not party of case but his admission is also relevant under section 19 of Indian Evidence Act 1872

Section 19 deals with statements of persons whose position is in issue, though they are not parties to the case. This section is based on the principle that where the right and liability of a suit depends upon the liability of third of a third person, any statement by that third person, about his liability is an admission against the party, the object of this section is not to lay down that certain statements are relevant or admissible but merely to add a category of a person by whom a  statement may be made before it can be considered to be an admission within the terms of the act.


A undertakes to collect rent for B, B sues a case on A for not collecting rent from C , A says in case that rent from C is not due, in this case there are only two parties  "A" & "B",   "B" is the petitioner and "A" is respondent. Now "C" comes in the court and admits that rent of B is due with me so his admission is also relevant. Because the right and liability of this case depended upon C , C was third person and he admits,

A person who has been referred by party of a suit, his admission is also relevant.

As per section 20 of Indian Evidence Act 1872 , a statement made by a person to whom a party to the suit has expressly referred  for information in reference to a matter in dispute are admission. This section forms another exception to the rule that admission by strangers are not relevant. Under it the admission of third person are also receivable against and have frequently been held to be in  fact binding upon, the party who has expressly referred another to him for information in regard to an uncertain disputed matter.  

For an example   Ahmad wants to sell his mobile to Rahul , Rahul asks about configuration,  Ahmad Says, call to Suresh to know about configuration of Mobile , Sauresh says it is of 64 GB RAM and 6 GB ROM , Now statement of Suresh shall be bound upon Ahmad as he referred to Suresh to get  particular information 

Rahul sues Ahmad for misrepresenting, alleging that the mobile which he purchased from Ahmad is in different configuration what Suresh Admitted, Now Ahmad  says in his defence  "Suresh is stranger in this case so his admission is irrelevant as per the general rule of Admission" , Hon'ble Court says that you expressly referred to Suresh for particular information so as per section 20 of Indian Evidence Act if the party of suit refers any third person for particular information, admission of third person shall be relevant admission if the disputes are related to that particular information. This is the exception of section 18 of Indian Evidence Act. 


The term Confession has not been defined in the Indian Evidence Act 1872 but Stephen in his book "Digest of the Law of Evidence" defines it. As per him, A confession is an admission made at any time by a person charged with a crime, stating or suggesting the inference that he has committed the crime. 

Confession is a voluntary acknowledgment of guilt by the accused person, it means voluntarily accepts that he has committed the crime. Confession can be admission but admission cannot be an admission. 
if the confessional statement is taken by threat, inducement or promised then such confession is irrelevant.

Confession is strong evidence, Hon'ble Court may give judgment believing on such confession if it supports with circumstantial evidence. 


Judicial Confession- An confession made by an accused person before the trial court, such confession is called as Judicial confession. 

Extra-Judicial Confession- Confession made before other than trial court, the is called as extra judicial confession , even he made before court but not trial court. 
When confession is irrelevant
Confession made to a person in authority
Section 24 of Indian Evidence Act 1872, According to this section, a confession made by an accused person is irrelevant is a criminal proceeding, if the making of confession appears to the court to have been caused by any inducement, threat, or promise having references to the charge against the accused person, proceeding from a person in authority and sufficient in the opinion of the court to give accused person grounds which would appear to him reasonable for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of temporal nature in reference to the proceeding against him.

This section says that any confession made before  person-in-authority such confession shall not be admitted in the court because it is irrelevant. It shall be presumed that such confession has been taken by any inducementthreat, or promise by a person in authority.
A person in authority means Sarpanch of Village(Leader of Panchayat), Superior officer, Doctor, & Captain   
Sarpanch of Village-  If any accused person confessed his before his Surpanch, then such confession would be irrelevant

Superior officer- Any accused person confession before his Superior person, such confession is irrelevant
Doctor -  Any accused person who is an employee of the Hospital confessed before his reporting Doctor then such confession is irrelevant

Captain:- Any accused person who is working under the supervision of captain of ship, if he confesses 
before him, such confession is not relevant.    
Confession Made to Police or under police custody are irrelevant

As per section 25 of Indian Evidence Act 1872, No confession made to police-officer shall be proved as against a person accused of any offence.

Under this section , a confession made to police officer is inadmissible in evidence, the principle behind this exclusion is that a confession thus made is untrustworthy. The reason for the rule is to put a stop to the extortion of confession by the police by malpractices and to avoid the danger of admitting false confession.  

So as per this section, any statement given before any police officer is not admitted in court, 

For an example , "A "  was arrested by police officer in case of Murder, whatever Police-officer recorded statement of the arrested person, whether it is only statement or confession such recorded statement is not admitted in any court of India   

Case Law
Abdul  Rashid VS Sate of Bihar AIR 2001 SC 2422, the confession was made by an accused Superintendent of Excise under the provision of Bihar and Orisa Excise Act. The Supreme Court held that confessional statement made to the Superintendent of Excise is inadmissible because excise is police officer under section of 25 of Indian Evidence Act 1872, conviction based only on the fact that accused was found together with co-accused from whom the offending article received and on the basis of confession of accused , the conviction was liable to be set aside     

Confession by an accused person while in the custody of police not proved

As per section 26 of Indian Evidence Act 1872, No confession made by any person whilst he is in the custody of a police officer unless it is made in the immediate presence of the magistrate, shall be proved as against such person

Under this section, no confession made by a person in police custody to any person other than police officer shall be admissible, unless made in the immediate presence of Magistrate.

For an Example "A "  was arrested by police officer in case of Murder and he confessed his guilt before other than police officer  under police custody, such confession is irrelevant. But when the police arrests he has to present to arrested person in nearest Magistrate if arrested person same statement gives before magistrate then such statement would be admitted in the trail court   

 Distinction between Confession and Admission 



"A " was arrested by police officer in case of Murder, whatever Police-officer recorded statement of arrested person, whether it is only statement or confession such recorded statement is not admitted in any court of India   

An admission usually relates to civil transaction and comprises all statements amounting admission defined under section 17 and made by person mentioned in under section 18, 19 and 20
Confession if deliberately and voluntarily made may be accepted as conclusive of the matters confessed Admission is not conclusive as to the matters admitted but if may operate as an estoppel
Confession always go against the person making it Admission may be used on behalf of the person making it under the exception provided in section 21 of Indian Evidence Act
Confession made by one or more person jointly tried for the same offence can be taken into consideration against the co-accused under section 30 Admission by one the several defendants in suit is no evidence against the other defendants
confession is a statement written or oral which is a direct admission of guilt Admission is statement oral, written or any electronic for which gives suggestion to inference about the relevant fact of fact in issue
Every confession is an admissionEvery admission is not a confession