Section 164 of the code of Criminal Procedure applies to all sorts of confessions. Confession is an admission made at any time by a person charged with an offense, stating or suggesting the inference that he has committed a crime. Section 164 has to be read together with section 24, section 25, section 26 and section 29 of the Evidence Act. [See...Power of Judicial Magistrate to Record Confessions and Statements (Section 164 of Cr.P.C)]
The main points of section 164 of the code of criminal procedure are as follows -
1) a confession shall not be made to a police officer on whom any power of magistrate may have been conferred under any law.
2) a confession or a statement can be recorded only by a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate.
3) A Magistrate shall not record a confession or a statement unless he is, upon inquiry from the person making it, satisfied that it is voluntary.
4) A confession or a statement can be recorded in the course of an investigation or at any time afterward before the commencement of the inquiry or trial.
5) before recording a confession, the Magistrate is required to explain to the person making the confession that he is not bound to make such a confession, and if he does so, it might be used as evidence against him.
6) before recording a confession the following directions are normally followed by Magistrate -
A) After warning the person making a confession, the Magistrate should give him adequate time to think and reflect.
B) Every inquiry must be made from the accused as to the treatment he had been receiving in custody in order to ensure that there is no undue influence. If marks of injuries are found on the person of the accused he should be asked how he received them.
C) If the accused is handcuffed, the Magistrate should order to remove the handcuffs, and the police should be order out of court in order to create a free atmosphere.
D) The accused should be assured of protection from any sort of torture or pressure from the police or the like in case he declines to make a confession.
E) The accused should be asked the reason why he is going to make a statement.
F) The Magistrate must put the question to the accused in order to ascertain the voluntariness of the confession.
7) The confession is to be recorded in the manner provided by Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure read with Section 281 of the code for the recording of the examination of an accused person.
8) The confession shall be signed by the person making it and after the confession is recorded the Magistrate is required to make a memorandum at the foot of such record as given in Section 164 (4) of the code of Criminal Procedure.
9) As there is no mention of place and time of recording of a confession in the Code, the Magistrate should record the confession in the Court and during Court hours.
10) The Magistrate shall have the power to administer an oath to the person whose statement is so recorded.
11) The Magistrate recording a confession or statement under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure is required to send the record directly to the Magistrate by whom the case is to be inquired into or tried.
12) Such record becomes relevant and admissible in evidence even though the Magistrate making the record is not called as a witness to formally prove it at the trial of the accused person.
13) A magistrate has his which direction to record or not to record a confession.
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