What is a Confession?

The word “confession” is mentioned in Section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act. This section comes under the heading of Admission to make it clear that the confessions are merely one species of admission. Confession is not defined in the Act. Confession are merely admission made at any time by a person charged with a crime stating or suggesting the inference that he committed that crime.”

There are 2 forms of Confession –

  • Judicial Confessions – Confessions made inside the court premise
  • Extra Judicial Confessions – Confessions made anywhere outside the court

We’ll be further discussing about Extra-Judicial Confession

Extra-Judicial Confessions – Such confessions which are made by the accused somewhere else than before a magistrate or in court. It isn’t required that the proclamations ought to have been routed to any positive person. It might have occurred as a petition. It very well might be an confession to oneself. An extra-judicial confession has been defined to mean  “ a free and voluntary confession of guilt by a person accused of a crime in the course of conversation with person other than judge or magistrate for the accusation of the charge against himself.. This may amount to confession. Extra-judicial confession can be accepted and can be the basis of a conviction if it passes the test of credibility. Extra-judicial confession is generally made before private person who includes even judicial officer in his private capacity. It likewise incorporates a magistrate not engaged to record admissions under section 164 of the Cr.P.C. or on the other hand a magistrate so enabled however accepting the admission at a phase when section 164 doesn’t make a difference.

Value of extra-judicial confession– extra-judicial confessions are not usually considered with favour but that does not mean that such a confession coming from a person who has no reason to state falsely and to whom it is made in the circumstances which support his statement should not be believed.

The evidence of extra-judicial confession is a frail piece of evidence. The extra-judicial confession must be received with great case and caution. It can be relied upon only when it is clear, consistent and convincing. The court needs to choose whether the individual before whom the confirmation is said to have been made are trustworthy witnesses. The extra-judicial confession is open to the danger of mistake due to the misapprehension of the witness before whom the confession was made to the misuse of the words and the failure of the party to express his own meaning. There being no record and there being no sanction behind it is very easy for the prosecution to catch hold of any witness who may come and depose that the accused admitted his guilt in his presence on some particular time. Though extra-judicial confession don’t have much evidentiary value as compared to judicial confession but in the case of a written confession the writing of the accused itself is one of the best evidence available to the court to charge the accused of the offence. And if the confession is not available in the form of written statements then the court may test the oral confession of the accused which was made to any other person. On the court’s discretion and satisfaction, the statements of the accused to any other person may be admissible and thereafter the accused may be prosecuted for the offence on which he is charged.  Due to those reasons it is very dangerous for the courts to base conviction on the sole basis of extra-judicial confession. Usually and as a matter of caution courts require some material corroboration to an extra-judicial confession statement corroboration which connects the accused person with the crime in question.

Extra-judicial confessions have to receive with great caution and care and when the foundation of the conviction is the confession alleged to have been made by the accused there are three things which the prosecution must establish. First, that a confession was made, secondly, that evidence of it can be given that is to say that it was voluntary and thirdly that it is true. Such a confession must be proved by independent or satisfactory evidence

Extra-legal admissions need to get with extraordinary alert and care and when the establishment of the conviction is the admission asserted to have been made by the denounced there are three things which the arraignment should set up. To start with, that an admission was made, also, that proof of it very well may be given that is to say that it was willful and thirdly that it is valid. Such an admission should be demonstrated by free or agreeable proof


 State of Karnataka v. A.B.Nag Raj there was allegation that the deceased girl was killed by her father and step-mother in the National park. The alleged extra-judicial confession was made by accused during detention in forest office. No mention of stated confession in document given to police nor any witness present there mentioning about the same confession. This extra-judicial confession can’t be relied on. Before counting on extra-judicial confession, it need to be taken into consideration whether or not the confession became genuinely made. It must additionally be taken into consideration as to why the accused reposed self assurance in the witnesses stating about the confession. It became alleged that the accused made confession to a witness who was the widow of one of the conspirators and became helping her husband in making spears and different weapons.

It was held that the confession became now no longer reliable. Proof of extra-judicial confession- extra-judicial confession can be in writing or oral. In the case of a written confession the writing itself may be the exceptional proof however if it isn’t to be had or is misplaced the individual earlier than whom the confession became made be produced to depose that the accused made the declaration before him. When the confession has not been recorded, individual or persons before whom the accused made the declaration must be produced earlier than the court and that they must show the declaration made through the accused.

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