Section 31 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

Comments:

Section 31 deals with the effect of admission in the matter of conclusiveness. It provides that admissions are not conclusive proof of matter admitted but operate as estoppels. This section gives evidentiary value of admissions containing in Sections 17 to 30 of the Evidence Act. Admissions are not conclusive. “it sometimes happens that persons make statements which serve this purpose or proceed upon ignorance of the true position; and it is not their statements but their relations— with the estate, which should be taken into consideration in determining the issue.” An admission, unless it operates as an estoppels, is not conclusive, but is open to rebuttal. A party is not bound by his own admission unless it acted upon the opposite party. The party against whom it is proved is at liberty to show it was mistaken or untrue.

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In civil cases the admission must be accepted as a whole or rejected as whole. In criminal cases an admission consists of inculpatory and exculpatory elements. It can be wise to accept inculpatory part of the Statement of the accrued, but if the statement is only evidence the exculpatory part cannot be rejected.

Admissions are of many kinds. They may be considered as being on record actually if they are either in the pleadings or in answer the interrogations or implied from the pleadings by non-traversal.

By admission an existing title can be proved. An admission by a party in respect of joint family property held by him is admissible and binding. An admission is a best evidence binding the opposite party. Where the averments of the applicant in an interlocutory application for bringing the legal representatives on record and accepted by the opposition party, the opposite party would be bound by the averments and cannot resile from them. Where an admission was made by the predecessor in title, he became bound by it.

Following principles may be drawn from Section 31:

1. Although the Section 31 is given place in the chapter of relevancy it does not concern with relevancy, rather it concerns with the evidentiary value of admissions.

2. Admissions are substantive piece of evidence but do not confer title.

3. Admissions in civil cases or judicial admissions or admissions in pleadings shall be taken as a whole.

4. Admission or confession should be taken as a whole.