WHAT IS RETRACTED CONFESSION?
A retracted confession is a statement made by an accused person before the trial begins, by which he admits to have committed the offence, but which he repudiates (reject, disown, abandon, renounce, refuse to accept or be associated with) at the trial.
Evidentiary value of retracted confession.
It is unsafe to base the conviction on a retracted confession unless it is corroborated by trustworthy evidence.
Bharat vs State of UP, 1971
Justice Hidayatullah observed that a court may take into account the retracted confession, but it must look for the reasons for the making of the confession as well as for its retraction and must weigh both of them to determine whether the retraction affects the voluntary nature of the confession or not.
Manjit Singh vs CBI (2011) SCC 578
Considering the question whether retracted confessions of the co-accused could be relied upon to convict the accused;
Court held that the retracted statements can be used against the accused as well as co-accused provides that such statements should be truthful and voluntary when made. In the said case two accused persons made confessional statements and subsequently, they retracted from their statements.
The court observed that-
“A confessional statement given under section 15 of TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act) shall not be discarded merely for the reason that the same has been retracted“