ADMISSION UNDER EVIDENCE ACT
What is Admission?
An admission is a statement – oral or documentary or contained in electronic form which suggests any inference as to fact in issue or relevant fact.
* Admission can be either self harming or self serving (serve own interest)
* Self harming admissions are acceptable evidence.
* Confession is an admission of guilt. It is acceptable and valid in evidence.
* There can be admission by silence also.
Bessela vs Stern (1877)
ADMISSION CAN BE FORMAL OR INFORMAL
Formal admissions– Formal admissions are judicial admissions and in such a case there is no need to prove the facts admitted.
Informal admission– Informal admissions are usually made in casual conversation in ignorance of possibility of it being used in future litigation.
Admission as a waiver of proof
When parties make an admission of fact, it in turn amounts to waiver of proof of such a fact.
CONDITIONS FOR ADMISSIBILITY OF ADMISSIONS.
1. Admission must relate to subject matter.
2. Admission must always be in nature of self-harming form/statement.
3. Admission must be made by persons and in the circumstances mentioned under Section 18 to 20.
WHO CAN MAKE ADMISSIONS?
Section 18: Admissions by party to proceeding or his agent.
1. Party to the proceedings.
2. By agent of such party who is authorised.
3. Suitor in representative character, when he held that character.
4. Party having pecuniary or proprietary interests.
5. Predecessor in title (who was in title before me)
6. Section 19: Person whose position or liability in question.
7. Section 20: Referee
EVIDENTIARY VALUE OF ADMISSION
Admission is not conclusive proof of the fact admitted as it is a prima facia evidence only but it may operate as estoppel. The person can be stopped to deny the truth of the statement.
Supreme Court in-
Banarasi Das vs Kanshi Ram, AIR 1963 said it is a weak type of evidence and court may reject it if the contrary is proved.
In Bishwanath Prasad vs Dwarka Prasad, AIR 1974 Supreme Court met further observations-
1. Admissions are substantive evidence by themselves though they are not the conclusive proof of the matter admitted.
2. Admission duly proved are admissible in evidence irrespective of the fact whether the party making them appeared as a witness or not.
3. Clarification- Admissions will be admissible even when the party is not called as a witness.
Purpose of contradicting a witness in section 145 and the object of proving admission here is entirely different. In case of contradiction it will be necessary to put the statement to the witness so that he will have an opportunity to explain it. But it is not so required in admission and in this context Justice Krishna Iyer pointed out that admission is a substantive evidence while the purpose of section 145 is to clear doubt on the veracity (accuracy, truthfulness, correctness, faithfulness, conformity to facts) of witness and does not become substantive evidence.
SECTION 21: PROOF OF ADMISSION AGAINST PERSONS MAKING THEM, AND BY OR ON THEIR BEHALF
Admissions will be proved against the person making it and not in his favour. But except in the following cases. The general rule is that one cannot prove a statement in his favour but section 21 incorporates three exceptions which even if being self serving can be proved by the party. These are-
1. Admissions falling under section 32– This exception enables a person to prove his own statement where the circumstances are such that if he were dead the statement would have been relevant in dispute between third parties. (when veracity is not in doubt it can be brought)
2. Statement as to bodily feeling of state of mind falling under section 14– The statement of men’s mind or body is relevant under section 14 and statement narrating such facts which indicates the state of mind or body made at or about the time when such state existed and which is accompanied by conduct are relevant.
3. Statement otherwise relevant then it may be proved as otherwise relevant fact and not as admissions.
SECTION 22: WHEN ORAL ADMISSIONS AS TO CONTENTS OF DOCUMENTS ARE RELEVANT
Document must be proved by the document itself. But when document is not available, then secondary evidence may be given for it under section 65.
Section 59– All facts except the contents of documents or electronic records may be proved by oral evidence.
Section 63(5)– Secondary Evidence. Oral accounts of the contents of a documents given by some person who has himself seen it.
When secondary evidence can be brought before the court given under Section 65.
SECTION 22A: WHEN ORAL ADMISSIONS AS TO CONTENTS OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS ARE RELEVANT
Inserted by IT Act 2000. When genuineness of electronic record produced is in question then only oral admissions as to the contents of electronic records are relevant.
SECTION 23: ADMISSION IN CIVIL CASES, WHEN RELEVANT
Where there is an agreement to the fact either express or implied that evidence of admission will not be given then it will not be produced/adduced before the court. It is just to encourage the parties to settle their matter for dispute with full freedom where they can diverse the things.