Section 25 of the Evidence Act is one of the provisions of law dealing with Confessions made by an accused. The law relating to the Confessions is to be found generally in Sections 24 to 30 of the Evidence Act and Sections 162 to 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1998 Sections 17 to 31 of the Evidence are to be found under the heading "Admissions".

          Confession is a species of admission, and is dealt with in Sections 24 to 30. A confession or an admission is evidence against the maker of it, unless its admissibility is excluded by some provisions of law.
Section 24 excludes confessions caused by certain inducements, threats and promises. 

Confession To police Officer

       Section 25 provides:

       "No confession made to a Police Officer shall be proved as against a person accused of an offense".

             The terms of ection 25 are imperative. A confession made to a police officer under any circumstances is not admissible in evidence against the accused. It covers a made when he was free and not in police custody, as also a confession made before investigation has begun. The expressions "accused of any offense" covers a person accused of an offense at the trial whether or not he was accused of the offense when he made the confession.

Section 26 prohibits proof against any person of a confession made by him in the custody of police officer, unless it is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate. The partial Ban imposed by Section 26 relates to a confession made to a person other than a police officer. Section 26 does not qualify the absolute ban imposed by Section 25 on a confession made to a police officer.

Section 27 is in the form of a proviso, and partially lifts the ban imposed by Section 24, 25 and 26.  It provides that when any fact is deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from a person accused of any offense,  in the custody of a Police Officer,  so much of such information as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered,  may be proved.  Section 162 of the Code of Criminal Procedure forbids the use of a statement made by any person to police officer in the course of an investigation for any purpose at any inquiry or trial in respect of the offense under investigation save as mentioned in the proviso and in cases falling under sub-section (2) it specifically provides that nothing in it shall be deemed to affect the provisions of Section 27 of the Evidence Act.

           The words of Section 162 are wide enough to include a confession made to a police officer in the course of Investigation. A statement or confession made in the course of an investigation may be recorded by Magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure subject to the safeguards imposed by the section. Thus except as provided by Section 27 of the Evidence Act, a confession by an accused to a police officer is absolutely protected under Section 25 of the Evidence Act, and if it is made in course of investigation it is also protected by Section162 of the Criminal Procedure, and a confession to any other person made by him while in the custody of police officer is protected by Section 26 unless it is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate.

         These provisions seems to proceed upon the view that confessions made by an accused to a police officer or made by him while he is in the custody of police officer not to be trusted, and should not be used in evidence against him. They are based upon Grounds of public policy, and the fullest effect should be given to them.



 Relevant Case Law

1) Sita Ram vs. State AIR 1966 SC 1906

           The accused was convicted of murder, one of the items of evidence being a confessional letter written by the accused and left near the dead body with the intention of being seen by police officer.

The Supreme Court, by majority, held:
  
         “It is not a confession made to a Police Officer coming within the ban of Section 25 of the Evidence Act. The Police Officer was not nearby when the letter was written, or knew that it was being written. In such circumstances the letter would not be a confession to a Police Officer even though it was addressed to the police officer."

That dissenting opinion was that:

          "A confessional letter written to a police officer and sent to him by post, messenger or otherwise is not outside the ban of Section 25 because the Police Officer was ignorant of the letter at the moment when it was being written."
   
        The Section puts complete embargo on the reception in evidence of such confessions. If it is made to a police officer and the person confessing is later put up for trial, the confession is totally irrelevant.
             

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