This post is written by Pragya Yadav, a third-year law student at IIMT, IP University, Delhi.
Admission is defined under Section 17 of the India Evidence Act, 1872 as a statement made by witnesses which shows inference to any fact in issue or relevant fact in a case. According to this Section, Admission can be in the form of a document, oral statement or may be contained in an electronic form.
Admission in the Indian Evidence Act is dealt under Sections 17 to 31. Sections 17 to 23 deal with general admission whereas Sections 24 to 31 deal with Confession. A Confession is an admission of guilt by the accused in a criminal case.
SECTION 18- WHO CAN MAKE AN ADMISSION
Section 18 of the Indian Evidence Act lays down the rules regarding as to who can make an admission. According to this section, there are five classes of persons whose statements will be considered as an admission in a suit. These five classes are:-
- BY PARTIES TO PROCEEDINGS: The statements made by the parties to a proceeding as against himself is considered as a relevant admission. Under this Section, the term ‘parties’ not only means the persons who appear on the record in that capacity but also includes those persons who are parties to a suit without appearing. Persons who have an interest in the subject matter of the suit but are not parties on the record are also considered as parties in the proceedings and their statements have the same relevancy as the parties on record. Similarly, a person who although appears as a party on the record but has no real interest in the subject matter will not have any effect through his admission as against the person he is appearing on behalf of.
- ADMISSION BY THE AGENT: The statements made by an agent in a suit would be admissible as against the person he is representing. The statements made by an agent are, however, binding only when they are made during the continuance of his agency. So, when the agent’s right to interference has come to an end any statement made by him after that will not have any effect on the principal.
- STATEMENTS MADE IN REPRESENTATIVE CHARACTER: When a person such as trustees, administers, executors etc., sue or are sued in a representative character, any statement made by them will only be admissible if made in their representative character. Any declarations made by them in their personal capacity will not be taken as an admission.
- PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE SUBJECT-MATTER: In any such suit where several persons are interested jointly in the subject-matter of the suit, then any admission made by anyone of the parties will be taken as an admission against himself as well as the other parties jointly interested in the subject matter. It does not matter whether the persons jointly interested in the subject-matter are suing or being sued jointly or separately. However, for this rule to apply there has to be prima facie foundation showing that joint interest exists between the parties suing or being sued.
- PERSONS FROM WHOM THE PARTIES DERIVE INTEREST: Any statement made by the predecessor-in-title from who the party to the suit derives his title will be admissible. But this will only be held as an admission if the predecessor-in-title made the declaration while still holding the title and not after the title has been transferred. The statement made by the former owner will not be considered as an admission as against the parties if it was made title has been passed.
SECTION 19- ADMISSION BY PERSONS WHOSE POSITION MUST BE PROVED AS AGAINST PARTY TO SUIT
As general rule statements made by a third party to a suit are not considered as admissions but Section 19 is an exception to this rule. Section 19 refers to the statements made by a third party as against himself when it affects his position or liability and when such liability or position is relevant to be proved as against the party to the suit. The statements made by the third party, in this case, would only be relevant if the liability or position of that third party still exists at the time of the suit.
SECTION 20- ADMISSIONS BY PERSONS EXPRESSLY REFERRED TO BY PARTY TO SUIT
This section refers to when a party to the suit refers to a third party regarding some information a matter of dispute. Under Section 20 any statement made by such party will be taken as an admission against the person who referred to the third party. This Section is another exception to the general rule that statements made by strangers are not considered as an admission.
SECTION 21- PROOF OF ADMISSION AGAINST PERSONS MAKING THEM AND BY OR ON THEIR BEHALF
According to Section 21, Admission may be used against the party making the admission but it cannot be used by the party who makes the Admission for his own use. This Section further lays down three exceptions to this rule. These exceptions are:-
- ADMISSION FALLING UNDER SECTION 32: An Admission can be used by the person for his own use if the person making such Admission is dead. In this case, such admission will be relevant as between the third person under Section 32. Section 32 lays down that statements made by persons dead or who cannot be found may be proved if it was made under the circumstances mentioned in the Section.
- STATE OF BODY AND MIND: An Admission made by a person regarding the existence of the state of body or mind relevant can be used by the person making such Admission if such a state of body or mind existed.
- STATEMENT RELEVANT OTHERWISE THAN AS ADMISSION: An Admission made by a person may be used by the person making it if it is proved that the statement is relevant otherwise than as Admission.
SECTION 22- ORAL ADMISSIONS AS TO THE CONTENTS OF DOCUMENTS
According to Section 22, when there is a document then nobody can be allowed to prove the content of that document. However, there are some exceptions to this rule:-
- In the case the party is entitled to give secondary evidence of the contents of the documents then he can rely on oral Admission.
- In the case where the original document is lost or if it is in the possession of the opposition party, then also the party may make oral Admission.
SECTION 22-A- ORAL ADMISSION AS TO THE CONTENTS OF ELECTRONIC RECORDS
According to Section 22-A, when there is an electronic record then nobody can rely on the oral Admission unless there is a question to the genuineness of such record.
SECTION 23- ADMISSION IN CIVIL CASES
Section 23 is only applicable to civil cases and do not extend to criminal cases. According to this Section, an Admission in a civil case will not be relevant if it is declared that upon the express condition made by the parties to the suit that the Admission should not be given or under some circumstances the court infers that the parties have made an agreement that Admissions will not be given. Section 21 lays down that when an Admission is given without prejudice then such Admission will not be considered as relevant.
- Simzkaur4, Admission and confession under the Indian Evidence Act 1872, http://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-138-admissions-and-confessions-under-indian-evidence-act-1972.html
- Udit Dwivedi, Admission and Confession, https://www.legalbites.in/admission-confession/#:~:text=Admission%2C%20as%20defined%20under%20section,under%20the%20circumstances%20hereinafter%20mentioned.%E2%80%9D
- Anushka, Admission, http://lawtimesjournal.in/admission/
- Batuk Lal, The Law of Evidence (22nd ed. Central Law Agency.