LAW OF EVIDENCE: ADMISSIONS: Meaning, Impact, Cases, Evidentiary Value, Differentiations
Admission is a voluntary acknowledgment of a fact but importance is given to those admissions only that go against the interests of the person making the admission. An admission becomes an important piece of evidence against a person.
On the other hand, anybody can make assertions in favor of themselves. They can be true or false and therefore, such assertions do not have much evidentiary value.
Like, for example, one can keep on saying that a certain house belongs to him, but that does not mean it is necessarily true.
Admission as per Indian Evidence Act –
Section 17 of Indian Evidence Act defines Admission as a statement which may be in oral, documentary, or electronic form, suggesting any inference as to any concerned fact and is made by any of the persons and under the circumstances mentioned below:
Section 18 – Admissions by party to proceeding or his agent; by suitor in representative character; by party interested in subject-matter; by person from whom interest derived –
- Statements made by the persons who are directly or indirectly a party to a suit.
- Statements made by persons who are suing or being sued in a representative character are admissions, only if those statements were made by the party while being in that representative character.
- Similarly, statements made by persons who have a pecuniary interest in the subject matter of the proceeding and statements made by persons from whom such interest is derived by the parties in suit, are also admissions if they are made while the maker had such an interest.
- For example, A bought a piece of land from B. Statements made by B at the time when B was the owner of the land is admissions against A.
Section 19 – Admissions by persons whose position needs to be proved:
- Statements made by persons whose position or whose liability is necessary to prove as against any party to the suit, are admissions,
- if such statements would be relevant as against such persons in relation to
- such position or
- liability in a suit brought by or
- against the made if they are made whilst the person making them occupies such position or
- is subject of such liability.
- P undertakes to collect rent for Q.
- Q sues P for not collecting rent due from R to Q.
- X denies that rent was due from Z to Y.
- X statement by Z that he owned Y rent is an admission, and is a relevant fact as against X, if X denies that Z did owe rent to Y.
Section 20 – Admission by persons expressly referred to by party to suit –
Statements made by any persons to whom a party (to the suit) has expressly referred in reference to a matter in dispute for information, are admissions.
The question is, whether a horse sold by P to Q is sound P says to Q “Go and ask R. R knows all about it” R’s statement is an admission.
In the case of Chekham Koteshwara Rao v. C Subbarao, AIR 1981, SC held that-
- before the right of a party can be taken to be defeated on the basis of an alleged admission by him, the implication of the statement must be clear and conclusive.
- There should not be any doubt or ambiguity.
- Further, it held that it is necessary to read all of his statements together and hence, stray elements elicited in cross examination cannot be taken as admission.
Section 21 Proof of admissions
Admissions are relevant and may be proved as against the person
- who makes them or
- his representative in interest and
- not by or on behalf of the person
- who makes them or by his representative in interest
- except in following cases:
- it is of a nature that the person making it, if were dead, it would be as relevant as between third persons under section 32 of the code
- it consists of a statement of existence of any state of mind or body,
- it is relevant otherwise than as an admission.
What is the impact of an admission?
In Biswanath v. Dwaraka Prasad
The apex court held that the:
- Admissions are usually telling against the maker unless reasonably explained.
- There is no necessary requirement of the statement containing the admission having to be put to the party because it is evidence proprio vigore.
Bharat Singh case:
The court observed that the:
- Admissions are substantive evidence by themselves, in view of Sections 17 and 21 of the Indian Evidence Act, though they are not conclusive proof of the matters admitted.
- whether the party making them appeared in the witness box or not and
- whether that party when appearing as witness was confronted with those statements in case it made a statement contrary to those admissions does not matter.
Bhogilal chunilal Pandya v. State of Bombay
The court observed held:
- Statements made by persons may be used as admissions against them even when they mayn’t have been communicated to any other person.
- Like, for example, statements in the Account books of a person which shows that he was indebted to another person are admissions and can be used against him even though these statements were never communicated to any other person.
|Binding on strangers||No||Yes, at times.|
|Actions||an action cannot be founded on it||an action can be founded on it|
|Untrue statements||The party is estopped from disputing its truth||An admission of a party is strong evidence against him, but he is at liberty to prove that such admission was false.|
|Meaning||It is a statement of the accused which is a direct acknowledgement of his guilt which is applicable in criminally.||It is a statement of the person against whom there is a case, in a civil matter.|
|Nature||It is a species of admission||It is the broader aspect of admittance of statements|
|Inclusion||All confessions are admissions||All admissions are not confessions|
|Acid Test||If, there a conviction be based on the statement alone||When some supplementary evidence is needed to authorize the conviction|
|Relevant Section||S.24 to 30||S.17 to 21|