Admission plays a very important part in judicial proceedings. If one party to a suit or any other proceeding proves that the other party has admitted his case, the work of the court becomes easier.
An Admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it under certain exceptional circumstances. The Evidence Act, Sections 17 to 23 deals with the Admissions.
1) Meaning of Admission:
The expression 'Admission' means "Voluntarily acknowledgment of the existence or truth of a particular fact". But In the Evidence Act, the term 'Admission' has not been used in this wider sense. It deals with admissions by statements only oral or written or contained in an electronic form. Admission plays a very important role in judicial proceedings. If one party to the suit or any other proceeding proves that the other party has admitted his case, the work of court becomes easier. An Admission must be clear, precise and not vague or ambiguous.
2) Definition of Admission:
According to 17 of Indian Evidence Act, "An admission is a statement, oral or documentary or [contained in electronic form (Amendment w.e.f. 17/10/2000)] which suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons and under the circumstances hereinafter mentioned."
There are three parts of the definition:
1) It defines term "admission"
2) It says that an admission will be relevant only if it is made by any of the person specified in the Act.
3) "Admission" is Relevant only in the circumstances mentioned in the Act.
3) Characteristics of Admission :
To constitute admission, the following characteristics are to be present as per definition stated above.
1) It may be oral or documentary
2) It is a statement to suggest any inference to any fact in issue or relevant fact.
3) It must be made by any person prescribed under the Act; and
4) It must be made under the circumstance prescribed under the Act.
The admission must be clear and unambiguous. The admission is admissible because of the following reasons:
a) Admission as a waiver of proof;
b) Admission as a statement against interest;
c) Admission as evidence of contradictory statement;
d) Admission as evidence of truth.
Admission is the best substantive evidence that an opposite party can rely upon.
4) Nature of Admission:
The statements made by parties during judicial proceeding are 'self regarding statements'. The self regarding statements may be classified under two heads -
i) Self-serving statements; and
ii) Self-harming statements.
i) Self-serving Statements - Self-serving statements are those, which serve, promote or advance the interest of the person making it. Hence they are not allowed to be proved. They enable to create evidence for themselves.
ii) Self-harming - Self-harming statements are those which harm or prejudice or injure the interest of the person making it. These self-harming statements all technically known as “Admissions" and are allowed to be proved.
5) Who can make admissions (Section 18 to Section 20) -
An Admission is relevant if it is made by:
1) A party to the proceeding;
2) An agent authorized by such party.
3) A party suing or being sued in a representative character making admission while holding such character.
4) A person who has a proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject matter of the suit during the continuance of such interest.
5) A person from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject matter of the suit during the continuance of such interest. (Section 18)
6) A person whose position it is necessary to prove in a suit, if such statements would be relevant in a suit brought by against himself (Section 19.)
7) A person to whom a party to the suit has expressly referred for information in reference to a matter in Dispute (Section 20.)
Proof of admission against persons making them, and by or on their behalf (Section 21)
Admissions are relevant and may be proved as against the person who makes them, or his representative in interest; but they can not be proved by or on behalf of the person who makes them or by his representative in interest, except in the following cases.
(1) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, when it is of such a nature that, if the person making it were dead it would be relevant as between the third person under section 32.
(2) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, when it consists of a statement of the existence of any state of mind or body, relevant or in issue, made at or about the time when such state of mind or body existed, and is accompanied by conduct rendering its falsehood improbable.
(3) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it if it is relevant otherwise than as an admission.
(a) The question between A and B is, whether a certain deed is or is not forged. A affirms that it is genuine, B that it is forged.
A may prove a statement by B that the deed is genuine, and B may prove a statement by A that the deed is forged; but A cannot prove a statement by himself that the deed is genuine nor con B Prove a statement by himself that the deed is Forged.
(b) 'A' the captain of a ship, is tried for casting her away.
Evidence is given to show that the ship was taken out of her proper course. A produces a book kept by him in the ordinary course of his business showing observations alleged to have been taken by him from day to day, and indicating that the ship was not taken out of her proper course. A may prove these statement, because they would be admissible between third parties, if he were dead under Section 32, Clause (2).
(C) A is accused of a crime committed by him at Calcutta.
He produces a letter written by him and dated at Lahore on that day, and bearing the Lahore post-mark of that day.
The statement in the date of the letter is admissible, because if A were dead it would be admissible under Section 32, Clause (2).
(d) A is accused of receiving stolen goods knowing them to be stolen.
He officers to prove that he refused to sell them below their value.
A may prove these statements though they are admissions, because they are explanatory of conduct influenced by facts in issue.
(e) A is accused of fraudulently having in his possession counterfeit coin which he knew to be counterfeit.
He offers to prove that he asked a skillful person to examine the coins as he doubted whether it was counterfeit or not, and that person did examine it and told him it was genuine.
A may prove these facts for the reasons stated in the last proceeding illustration.
When oral admission as to contents of documents are relevant (Section 22)
Oral admissions as to the contents of a document are not relevant unless and until the party proposing them shows that he is entitled to give secondary evidence of the contents of such document under the rules hereinafter contained, or unless the genuineness of a document produced is in question.
When oral admissions as to contents of electronic records are relevant Section 22A)
When oral admissions as to contents of electronic records are relevant.—Oral admissions as to the contents of electronic records are not relevant, unless the genuineness of the electronic record produced is in question. [Inserted by the Information Technology Act, 2000, w.e.f. 17-10-2000.]
6) Effects of Admission
Section 31 says that admissions are not conclusive proof of the matters admitted but they may operate as Estoppel under the provision of this Act. The provision is further supplemented by Section 58 under which it is provided, "Facts admitted need not to be proved." It says that no facts need to be proved in any proceeding which the parties hereto or their agent agreed to admit at the hearing or which, before the hearing, they agree to admit by any writing under their hands, or which by any rule of pleading enforce at the time they are deem to have admitted by their pleading.
Section 58 provides for the effect of water are known at judicial admissions. Judicial admissions are formal admissions made by a party during the proceeding of the case. Judicial admissions are binding on the party that makes them. They constitute a waiver of proof. Admissions dealt with in the Indian Evidence Act in Section 17 to 23 and 31 or different from Judicial Admissions. Admission in the Evidence Act is nothing but a piece of evidence.
Admission not conclusive proof:
An Admission does not constitute a conclusive proof of the fact admitted. It is only prima facie proof and proving contrary is allowed. An admission being not conclusive proof of the fact admitted, evidence can be given to disprove it. But until evidence to the contrary is given and admission can safely be presumed to be proved.
Estoppel of the party admitting:
An admission operates as an Estoppel, the party admitting the fact will not allowed to go against the fact admitting under section 115 of This Act.
Waiver of proof:
Judicial Admission operates as a waiver of proof which means it is proof of fact admitted and further proof is not necessary, though the court in its direction may require further proof.
7) Evidentiary Value of Admission -
An admission is the best evidence against the party making the same unless it is untrue and made under the circumstances, which does not make it binding on him. Admission by a party is substantive evidence of the facts admitted by him. Admissions duly proved are admissible evidence irrespective of whether the party making the admission appeared in the Witness box or not. In fact, Admission is best substantive evidence that an opposite party can rely upon it. The evidentiary value of admission only by government is merely relevant and not conclusive, unless the Party to whom they are made has acted upon and thus altered his detriment.
8) Distinction between Admission and Estoppel
9) Distinction between Admission and Confession
10) Relevant Cases:
B.A Ramaiah V. State of A.P.1997 SC496.
In this case, Supreme Court held that the statement in FIR furnished by one of the accused cannot be used against another accused unless its makers offered himself as a witness in the trial. It has very limited use of it as evidence under Section 21 of the Act against its maker alone unless the admission does not amount confession.