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Admissions and confessions under BSA (Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam): Notes


In this article, we will be examining the concepts of admissions and confessions under Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 (BSA). Admissions and confessions play an important role during trials and they play a vital role in influencing the court's decision-making process. Sections 15-25 of Bharatiya Sakshya Adhiniyam, 2023 (BSA) talk about admissions and confessions.

Section 15 of BSA: Admission Defined

In Section 15 of BSA, an admission is described as any statement, oral or written, including electronic forms, that implies an inference about a relevant fact. Such statements are made under specific circumstances outlined in the section.

It should be noted that admissions can be made in a civil case as well, whereas confessions can be made in a criminal case only.

Example: If a defendant acknowledges owing money to the plaintiff in a debt recovery case, this acknowledgment is considered an admission under Section 15.

Watch JudiX’s 1 minute video lecture on discovery statement in a confession

Section 16 of BSA: Admission by Party or Agent

Section 16 deals with admissions made by a party to the proceeding or their authorized agent. Statements made by parties or their agents are generally treated as admissions, but there are exceptions.

Example: If a business owner's employee admits fault in an injury case, the employer may be bound by this admission if the employee is acting within the scope of their authority.

Section 17 of BSA: Admissions by Persons Relevant to a Party's Position

Section 17 addresses admissions made by persons whose position or liability needs proof against a party. Statements made by individuals relevant to a party's position or liability are considered admissions.

Example: In a contractual dispute, if a subcontractor admits their failure to deliver goods, this admission is relevant to the contractor's position in a lawsuit.

Section 18 of BSA: Admissions by Persons Referred to by a Party

Section 18 pertains to statements made by persons expressly referred to by a party for information in a matter in dispute. Such statements are recognized as admissions.

Example: If a defendant in a property dispute gives a neighbor the authority to testify to their ownership, the neighbor's statement becomes an admission under Section 18.

Section 19 of BSA: Proof of Admissions

Section 19 outlines the relevance and proof of admissions, stating when admissions can be proved and under what circumstances.

Example: If a deceased person's written admission is crucial to a property dispute, it may be admissible if it would be relevant between third parties under Section 26.

Section 20 of BSA: Oral Admissions as to Contents of Documents

Section 20 discusses the relevance of oral admissions regarding the contents of documents and specifies conditions under which they become relevant.

Example: If a party admits verbally to altering a contract, this oral admission becomes relevant if the party seeks to give secondary evidence of the document's altered contents.

Section 21 of BSA: Admissions in Civil Cases

Section 21 states that certain admissions are not relevant in civil cases if made under specific conditions.

Example: If two parties in a civil contract agree not to present evidence of a particular admission, the court may not consider it during proceedings.

Section 22 of BSA: Confession Caused by Inducement, Threat, Coercion, or Promise

Section 22 addresses the relevance of confessions in criminal proceedings, particularly those influenced by inducement, threat, coercion, or promise.

Example: If a confession is made under duress and the court finds the inducement substantial, the confession may be deemed irrelevant.

Section 23 of BSA: Confession to Police Officer

Section 23 prohibits the use of confessions made to a police officer as evidence against an accused person.

Example: A confession made during police interrogation without a magistrate present would generally be inadmissible under Section 23.

Section 24 of BSA: Consideration of Proved Confession Affecting Persons Jointly Tried

Section 24 allows the court to consider a confession made by one person jointly tried for the same offense affecting others being tried together.

Example: If two co-defendants are jointly tried for robbery, a confession by one admitting their involvement may be considered against the other.

Section 25 of BSA: Admissions Not Conclusive Proof, but May Estop

Section 25 clarifies that admissions are not conclusive proof but may operate as estoppels under certain conditions.

Example: If a party admits to owing a debt but later claims otherwise, the earlier admission may estop them from denying the debt in court.

Watch JudiX’s 1 minute video lecture on Judicial and Extra Judicial confessions under BNSS

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