Admission & Confession -LAW INSIDER

By Akanksha Sharma

Published on : August 28, 2021 12:33 IST


As we are aware that under The Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Evidence incorporates all that is utilized to decide or exhibit the reality of a statement. Giving or obtaining evidence is the way toward utilizing those things that are either:

  • Ventured to be valid, or
  • Which were demonstrated by the evidence, to exhibit an affirmation’s reality.

Evidence is the cash by which one satisfies the weight of proof.

Now talking about Admission; it is dealt under Sections 17 to 31 in the Indian Evidence Act, Sections 17 to 23 deals with the general admission and Sections 24 to 31 deals with confession.  It is clearly defined under Section 17 of the Act as a statement which is made by a witness as a relevant fact in a case which shows its interference.

Section 17 states

An admission is a statement, [oral or documentary or contained in electronic form], which suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons, and under the circumstances, hereinafter mentioned.”

In general sense the term admission means power or permission to enter or the power to approach. Whereas in legal terms it means agreeing to a statement made by another person as the admission made out of court are received in evidence. In fact a point or a statement admitted.

What are the principles regarding admission?

The principles regarding evidence are mentioned in Besant Singh Vs Janki Singh and Ors[i] are as follows:

  • It states that there is no difference between the admission of a pleading party and other admissions too.
  • The admission should be duly signed and verified by the party who could use it as an evidence against the other that it could only be used in that very suit.
  • An admission can only be examined as a whole and cannot be divided into parts.
  • Admission should be voluntary in nature to have a substantive evidence effect. Any admission made in ignorance whether by lawful or unlawful implementation of physical enforcement.
  • Admissions are limited to prima facie proof i.e. not needing further proof unless evidence is produced in the court).
  • Admissions which are clear are known to be the best proof of the facts submitted.

What are the types of Admissions?

There are mainly two types of Admissions:

  • Formal Admissions

Formal Admissions are judicial admissions and there is no need to prove the facts of such cases that are based upon formal admissions. As Section 58 of the Indian Evidence Act defined that those facts which are judicially admitted are in no need to be proven.

  • Informal Admissions

Usually, the casual conversations which are made in the ignorance of the fact that it might be used in future litigation are known as Informal Admissions. For example, with friends, family etc.

What are the essential conditions for admissibility of Admission?

  • They must be related to a subject matter.
  • Self- harming form must always be in the nature of Admissions.
  • Admissions can only be made by the people on the basis of Section 18 to 20 of the Indian Evidence Act.

Who can make an Admission?

  • By the Party who is in proceeding

The relevant admission is the statements made by the parties in a proceeding as against himself. It under Section 18 of the Indian Evidence Act that lays down the rules of making an admission.

  • By the agent who has been authorized by the party in proceeding

The statement which is made by an agent would be admissible in a suit against the person he is representing. Only during the continuance of his agency the statement made by an agent is binding. So when after the agent’s right to interference ends that will not have any effect on the principle.

  • Statements made in any representative character

When any person is sued based upon the representative character then any statement made by him if would be on personal capacity that will not be taken as admission. Rather the statement made upon representative character would only be admissible.

  • People interested in the Subject-Matter

In a suit where a large no. of people are interested in the subject matter of the suit then the admission will only be taken when the other parties are jointly interested in the subject matter and when the parties will take admission against themselves.

  • Persons by whom parties derive interests

When the title has been passed from the former owner to the predecessor through the suit it become admissible. But only after the title has been transferred not while still holding the title.

Admission under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872

  • Section 19Admission by Persons Whose Position Must Be Proved as Against Party to Suit

This is as under this section of the Indian Evidence Act. As in general it refers to third party who makes statement against himself when it affects his position. It is taken under admission only when the position is proved as against the party to the suit and the third party still exists at the time of the suit.

  • Section 20 – Admissions by Persons Expressly Referred to By Party to Suit

It is as under this section of the Indian Evidence Act 1872 which states that any statement made by party to the suit which refers to the third party. Under this section it will be taken as an admission against the person who referred to the third party. Hence in general it states that the statements made by the strangers are not taken as admission.

  • Section 21 – Proof of Admission against Persons Making Them and By or On Their Behalf

It is under this section of the Indian Evidence Act which states that admission cannot be used against the party who makes admission for his own use. But it could be used against the party who makes the admission. 

  • Section 22 – Oral Admissions as to the Contents of Documents

According to Section 22, nobody could be allowed to prove the content when there is a document. Some exceptions to this rule are:

When the party has to give evidence of the contents of the documents through secondary evidence then the party can rely upon Oral Admissions.

When the original document is lost then also the party can make Oral Documents.

  • Section 23 – Admission in Civil Cases

It is only under Section 23 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872 and it can only be applied to the Civil Cases. According to the given section Admission is given without any biasness and prejudice then only admission would be considered as relevant.

What is the evidentiary value of Admission?

Admission is only admitted in the form of prima facia evidence only and it may also operate as an estoppel.  The truth of the statement could be denied to the person.  As in Banarasi Das Vs Kanshi Ram & Others[ii]

The Supreme Court held that the type of evidence is weak and the Court may reject if it’s proved.

Similarly, in Bishwanath Prasad And Others Vs Dwarka Prasad (Dead) And Others[iii]

The Supreme Court held that:

  • Admissions are not the conclusive proof of the matter admitted but are by themselves substantive in nature.
  • It does not matter whether party is making them appeared as witness or not irrespective of the fact that admission which is duly proved is admissible.
  • Even when the party is not called as witness admission will be admissible.

Admission as Estoppel

It is under the Section 31 if the Indian Evidence Act that proves that admission may operate as estoppels as it is not just the conclusive proof of the matter. Section 115-117 of the Indian Evidence Act will apply for the admission as estoppel.

What is Confession?

The interference of the term Confession is explained under Section 17 under the definition of Admission of the Act as it is nowhere defined individually in the Act. A person who is charged with any criminal act when confers some statement which directly suggests a conclusion is known as confession. In other terms confession is admission by the accused. Confession is considered to be a weak type of evidence as it is presumed that no person will make a false statement which could be used against himself as evidence. Confession is mainly of two types-

  • Judicial Confession– It is when the statement is itself given in the Court of Law, that the confession would be termed as the Judicial Confession.
  • Extrajudicial Confession– It is when the statement is given anywhere instead of Court, that the confession would be termed as Extrajudicial Confession.

What are Irrelevant Confessions?

Section 24 of the Act describes that if a person who is accused of some offence makes a confession it is considered to be irrelevant and that too when that statement comes out of any threat or promise with inducement of a person in authority like police, magistrate etc.

How is Admission different from Confession?

As the definition of admission is applicable to that of confession, it is held that all confessions are admissions but all admissions are not confessions.

  • Admission is either in favour or against interest of the party but confession is always against the interest of the party.
  • Confession is a type of binding on accused but admission does not support binding.
  • Confession can only be made by the person who committed the crime but admission can be made by a third party also.
  • Confession is taken to be a conclusive proof of guilt but admission is not taken to be a conclusive proof.

A formal statement by the accused in which he admits his guilt of crime.A statement made by a party in Civil proceeding is called as Admission.
Confession is proceeded only for the Criminal Offences.Admission could be proceeded for both Civil or Criminal offence.
Confession is the term used for the admission of guilt.It is applicable to a statement which is either oral or documentary made by a party on the side of Civil.
Retraction is possible in Confession.Retraction is not possible in Admission.
Confession is always against the person who makes it as it is made by the accused itself.It can be used on the behalf of the person who makes it as it is made by the agent to the party in proceeding or by the third party.
It is conclusive in nature.It is not conclusive in nature.

Case Laws

  • Bharat Singh And Anr Vs Bhagirathi[iv]

Admissions are the Substantive Evidence

The Supreme Court here observed that Admissions are substantive evidence under the Indian Evidence Act they are not the conclusive proof of the admitted matter. As it does not matter that whether the party is making witness to appear in the witness box or that party was confronted with those statements that they had made.It was under Section 17 and 21 of the Act.

  • Bhogilal Chunilal Pandya Vs The State of Bombay[v]

Admissions Can be Used Against the Party who Made The Statement

The Court held that the statements made by the parties could be used as admissions against them even if they might not have communicated to any other person. For example the bank statements in the account book of a person that tells that he was indebt can be used as admissions against him even though these were never communicated by the person.

  • Tara Singh Vs The State[vi]

Witness could Be Confronted with the Previous Statements

The Court held that the evidence in the Court cannot be used in the Sessions Court unless the witness is confronted with the previous statement. This is mentioned in section 145of the Indian Evidence Act. Witness is cross examined with the previous statements if this satisfies the prosecution then nothing more is required to do so but if it does not then the examination could lead forward. Then only the matter could be brought as substantive evidence under Section 288.

  • Nathoo Lal Vs Durga Prasad[vii]

Party Must be True unless Contrary is Shown

The Court here held that as any of the admissions made by the parties in the suits are a very important piece of evidence and the persons who are related to the subject-matter of the case and are the real parties in interest but are not on record. On the other hand, if a person is a party in the suit but does not have any interest in the subject matter of the case then his statement would not be an admission. Hence it was observed that what is admitted by a party to be true should be presumed to be true unless the contrary is shown.

  • K.M. Singh Vs Secretary, Association of Indian Universities and Others[viii]

Plaintiff Could Not be Bound by Decision Based on Special Oath

It was held by the Court that as per Section 20 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 that the oath as per the plaintiff’s statement was administered and hence no doubt was on the manner that the two persons who took the oath according to Section 20. The two persons here were the plaintiff’s nominee by the virtue of Section 20 of the Evidence Act. Thus the orders of the court were unassailable and the High Court dismissed the petition.


It can be said that Admission has a wider scope than confession as every Confession is an Admission but every Admission is not Confession. Its distinction is important because it shall give explanation to the statements which are admissible in the Court of Law under the Act of 1872. As if a statement is found to be Admission it shall be admissible under Section 21 and if it’s vice- versa it shall be admissible under Section 24 to 30. Hence by this we come to know that Confession is made by a person who is under Criminal proceedings and Admission is made by a person who is under Civil proceedings.


[i]Besant Singh Vs Janki Singh And Ors on 2 August, 1996 [1967 AIR 341]

[ii]Banarasi Das Vs Kanshi Ram & Others on 17 December, 1962 [1963 AIR 1165]

[iii]Bishwanath Prasad And Others Vs Dwarka Prasad (Dead) And Others on 30 October, 1973 [1974 AIR 117]

[iv]Bharat Singh And Anr Vs Bhagirathi on 26 August, 1965 [1966 AIR 405]

[v]BhogilalChunilal Pandya Vs The State of Bombay on 4 November, 1958 [1959 AIR 356]

[vi]Tara Singh Vs The State on 1 June, 1951 [1951 AIR 441]

[vii]Nathoo Lal Vs Durga Prasad on 9 April, 1954 [1954 AIR 355]

[viii]K.M. Singh Vs Secretary, Association of Indian Universities And Others on 21 April, 1992 [1992 AIR 1356]

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