Section 29 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Comments:

Section 29 provides that there is no bar to admissibility of a confession even if it was made under the promise of secrecy. Under this section a confession made by an accused is relevant even if it can be excluded from being proved under the following circumstances:

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1. When it was made to the accused under a promise of secrecy;

2. By practicing a deception on the accused;

3. When the accused was drunk:

4. In answer to question which the accused need not have to answered: or

5. When no prior warning was given to accused that he was not bound to make any confession and that might be used against him.

1. Under a promise of secrecy:

The principles of admission are applied here to encourage accused persons to speak truth. When a confession obtained from an accused by promising him that what he will confess will be kept secret is relevant under the section. For example, a booking-clerk was arrested for defalcation of money. The auditor told him, “it would be better for you to tell the truth and refund the money. Everything would be kept secret.” After which the booking clerk was brought before the Traffic Manager in whose presence he confessed to have made defalcation. Although the confession of the booking clerk is not relevant under section 24, it is nevertheless relevant under this section.

2. By practicing deception:

When a confession is obtained by practicing fraud and deception with the accused the confession is admissible as if it was not taken by inducement, threat or promise. “If it is admissible, the court is not concerned how the evidence is obtained.”

3. Accused was drunk:

The intoxicated persons generally speak truth. If any confession is made by an accused who was drunk, in spite of the fact that the liquor was supplied by the police officer, the confessional statement is not inadmissible.

4. In answer to questions:

There is no bar to the admissibility of a confession for being made in answer to question. When an accused is questioned as to the fact he is not bound to answer whatever may be the form of question. If any answer is given by the accused it will be treated as confession. Mere questioning of an accused by a police officer, resulting in a voluntary statement, which may ultimately turn out to be incriminatory, is not compulsion.

5. Without warning:

Under the heading the confession of the accused will be relevant also if no warning was given that he is not bound to make any statement and that whatever he states will be used against him. The section provides that a voluntary confession does not become inadmissible merely because the maker was not warned before that it might be used against him as evidence. Under section 164(3)of the Cr. PC 1973 the magistrate before recording confession of an accused has to explain to the accused that he is not bound to make any confession and that if he does so, it will be used as evidence against him. There are conflicts of decisions as to whether the Section 164(3), Cr. PC, overrides Section 29 of the Evidence Act.