Section 17 to 23 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872 talks about Admissions:
Section 17 defines the term admission.
Section 18, 19, 20 states the Person who can make admissions?
Section 21 states three exception when a person can make admission against himself.
Section 22, 22A talks about oral admission in case of documents and electronic documents.
Section 23 talks about admission in civil cases.
SECTION 17- An admission is a statement:
- Which is made in oral or documentary or electronic form;
- Which suggest any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact;
- Which is made by any person and under the circumstances mention under section 18 to 23.
SECTION 18, 19, 20-
Now we will study these three section together to understand that who can make admissions? So as per section 18, 19 and 20 following persons can make admission:
- By the party (u/s 18)
- By an authorized agent (u/s 18)
- By suitor in representative character(u/s 18)
- By person who has either proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject-matter of the proceeding, when he had that interest (u/s 18). [The meaning of the term proprietary which means “owner” and pecuniary means “money”. For eg- A person sitting in a auction to purchase a disputed property has the pecuniary as well as proprietary interest in that property.]
- Predecessor interest when he had that interest(u/s 18). [Predecessor simply means which was previous to the current thing. For eg, A makes the statement that he has mortgaged the house to B for Rs 1000. Afterwards, he sells house to C. Now B files suit to recover Rs 1000 by sale of house, C says that there was no such deal between A and B. So, here B can prove the earlier admission made by A to B. So here A has predecessor interest in the house before he sold it.]
- Admission made by the third party, if the position or liability of third party is in issue between the two parties (u/s 19). For example- A did not perform his duty to collect rent from C, which A was authorized to collect by B. So, B sues A for not collecting rent from C as per promise.Now, A says no rent is due C to B. If now C, which is third party, says that he owes rent to B is an admission. Here, C is in that position or liability.
- Admission by referee (u/s 20). [Example- A says to B ” go and ask C about this”. So here C’s statement is admission.]
SECTION 21 (Self harming statements)
Normally, a person would make a statement that favours him and these favourable statements are allowed to be used, it would be quite easy for accused to speak something in one’s own favour and bring in evidence. But when person is speaking something detrimental to him or her, it is quite natural to suppose that he is speaking truth. So, it concludes by saying that nobody would declare anything against himself unless true. But few general exception of self harming interest are given under section 21.
There are three exceptions under section 21:
- Admission falling under section 32. For example- The question is what was the price of the pulses on the 08/10/2016. The fact that A has made entry of pulses price in account book on that particular date in ordinary course of business is admission. A can prove these entries because if he was dead the statement would have been admissible under section 32(2).
- Statement with reference to state of mind or bodily feeling u/s 14. For example- A was is in the possession of false coin. A made statement to his friend B that coin appears not to be genuine but B said “They are fine”. The statement made by A is relevant because it is expressing state of mind of A according to section 14.
Statement otherwise relevant: It means that statement made under section 6 to 16 and u/s 33, 34 and 35. Now, question must have been arising why not section 32 and 35 to 55? It is because 32 talks about dying declaration and 30 to 55 talks about judgement, opinion etc. For example- A was murdered by B. The fact that B was abroad makes it otherwise relevant under section 11 and admitted under section 21(3).