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CONFESSION TO POLICE OFFICER NOT TO BE PROVED

INTRODUCTION

In section 25 of the Evidence Act, 1872 it is expressly given that the confessions that are made in front of the police officials shall not be allowed to be proven against a person who is accused of any type of offence/wrong. The reason for not allowing this confession is police can torture or force the wrongdoer for confessing a crime that he/she might not have committed. Hence the main reason behind such kind of exclusion is lack of trust with some other side reasons like to stop the extortion of the confessions by the police officials by various malpractices and also not to admit or force the accused to admit the false confessions. If any such kind of confession is made then it will be considered irrelevant no matter what form it is direct, express or implied[1].

The terms that are explained under the Section 25 of the evidence act is of great importance as it makes sure the fact that no matter what the situation is the confession that is made by the accused in front of the police officials should not be considered as the evidence under any circumstances until provided. Under this provision, all the statements are not excluded but only acceptance of confession as evidence. It is irrelevant whether the confession made before the officer is an investigating officer or not, the only necessary fact is that the police officer should be able to invalidate the confession no matter the type of crime it is.

The next section that is 26 it prohibits the judicial officers and the bodies to prove the guilt of the accused on the basis of the confession that is made by him. This section also imposes some partial ban on the provisions that are stated in section 25 like if the confession made by the accused to the police officer is done in front of the magistrate. The only thing that this provision focuses upon is the confessions that are made under the police officer.[2]

Now further the point of discussion that arises will be who all are included under this word police officer and who all should be kept outside the purview of this. Also, just the presence of the police officer does not make the confession irrelevant, for a confession to be declared as invalid the police officer has the authority to arrest him and he has the power to get him arrested under any offence. So as given in the Police Act (V of 1861) all those persons that are under that Act are enrolled in that term. It includes both the low grade and the upper-grade police officials. So as given in section 25 of the evidence act, all those who are included in the police force come under this category. Hence we cannot include all the officers under section 25[3].

CONFESSION TO POLICE OFFICER NOT TO BE PROVED (SECTION 25)

Two essentials that can be drawn from section 25[4] are

  1. Confession made under the police official
  2. Confession that is made should not be allowed to be used as proof against the accused of any offence.

CONFESSION MADE UNDER THE POLICE OFFICER

Under the provisions of section 164 of the criminal procedure code, it gives various ways or methods of getting a reliable record of statements or the confessions that are made during the time duration when police are investigating which if necessary can be used by him for the process of enquiry or the trial. [5]As under section 25 of the evidence act confessions made under the police officer are irrelevant and cannot be presented in court as evidence so whenever an accused confess something during the time when police are investigating then under section 164 of CrPC police should immediately get that record by a magistrate and then it can be considered as evidence under the Indian evidence act.

CONFESSION IS NOT TO BE USED TO PROVE AGAINST THE ACCUSED OF ANY CRIME OR OFFENCE

The second element under section 25 of the evidence act is that the Confessions that are made under the police officer cannot be used as evidence against the accused and this is done to ensure that accused should not be put under any torture or misbehave by the police. Although the confession statement given by the accused cannot be used as evidence against him, at the same time he can rely on the same confession as his defence[6]. Like for example a husband who confessed that he hit his wife cannot be used as evidence against him but once he was proved guilty then he can use it in his defence saying that he did the act under grave and sudden provocation. Evidence law cannot stop an accused person from using his confession for his defence[7].

CONCLUSION

Every act or law has some other significance, either they protect the rights of the accused or the defendant. In the same respect, laws are made in favour of the ones that are accused so as to protect their rights and under this category one of the rights is covered under section 25 of the evidence act that the confessions made by the accused in front of the police officer cannot be used as evidence against him. This is done so as to protect them with blatant misuse of powers of the police used to extract false confessions. This section also works as a whistleblower for checking the validity of the confession whether it is free or voluntary. Only the police officers are exempted under section 25 but any other governmental authority is not included.  Only the confessional statements are covered under this section and not any other statement. The main objective of this section is to exclude the confessional statements that are made in front of the police officer and whole this is done to protect the accused from any kind of misuse or torture.

Author(s) Name: Vaishnavi Singh (Bennett University, Greater Noida)

References:

[1] Arghya Sengupta, ‘Confessions in the custody of a police officer: Is it the opportune time for Change?’ (2006) 18 SAC 31 < www.jstor.org/stable/44306645> accessed 16 Aug. 2021

[2] Sir James Stephen and Deoman Upadhyaya, ‘Section 27 of the section 27 of the Indian evidence act (I of 1872)’ (1964) 6 ILI 332 < www.jstor.org/stable/43949812> accessed 16 Aug. 2021

[3] Anne Elizabeth Link,’ Fifth Amendment the constitutionality of custodial confessions’ (1973) 82 JCLC 878 <www.jstor.org/stable/1143709> accessed 16 Aug. 2021

[4] Evidence Act, 1872

[5] Arthur E. Sutherland, Jr.’ Crime and Confession’ (1965) 79 HLR 21 < www.jstor.org/stable/1338857> accessed 16 Aug. 2021

[6] Michael Hirst,’ Confessions as Proof of innocence’ (1998) 57 CLJ 146 < www.jstor.org/stable/4508424> accessed 16 Aug. 2021

[7] Welsh S. White,’ Police Trickery in inducing Confessions’ (1979) 127 UPLR 581 <www.jstor.org/stable/3311616> accessed 16 Aug. 2021

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