Admission is a voluntary acknowledgment of a fact but importance is given to those admissions only that go against the interests of the person making the admission. An admission becomes an important piece of evidence against a person. On the other hand, anybody can make assertions in favor of themselves. They can be true or false and therefore, such assertions do not have much evidentiary value. Like, for example, one can keep on saying that a certain house belongs to him, but that does not mean it is necessarily true.
The term ‘admission’ is defined in Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. In general sense, the term admission means power or permission to enter, admittance, entrance, access, the power to approach. In the legal sense, acquiescence or concurrence in a statement made by another, and distinguishable from a confession in that an admission presupposes prior inquiry by another, but a confession may be made without such inquiry. A fact, point, or statement admitted; as the admission made out of Court are received in evidence.
Principles of admission
- It states that there remains no difference between the admission of a party in pleading and other admissions thereafter.
- The admission made by a party in a plaint has to be duly signed and verified by that party which could be used as evidence against that party in another suit, but the same could not be termed as conclusive.
- An admission cannot be divided into parts and can only be examined as a whole.
- An admission can only be read in its entire form and no statements can be taken out of the context to form an admission of a certain fact.
- An admission binds the maker to the facts of the case.
- An admissibility of a plea of guilt can be determined only if the plea is recorded in the words used by the accused or the person charged with an offence.
- For an admission to have a substantive evidence effect, it should be voluntary in nature. Any admission which is made in ignorance of rights or under restraint in which a person is influenced, whether by lawful or unlawful forceful compulsion of their liberty by implementation of physical enforcement; legally for the incurring of civil liability, of a citizen’s arrest, or of subrogation, or illegally for the committing of an offence, of forcing a contract, or of using threats cannot be considered an admission.
- Admissions are limited to being only prima facie proof (not needing further proof unless contrary evidence is shown or produced in the Court of Law) and do not carry a conclusive value.
- Admissions which are clear, in the words of the accused or the person charged with an offence are considered as the best proof of the facts submitted.
Admissibility of Admissions
- 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 third persons under section 32.
- 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 of 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.
- An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, if it is relevant otherwise than as an admission.
- Admissions are admissible when the facts have been declared to be legally relevant under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 .
- Admissibility of admission is founded on Law, not on logic
Admission as per Indian Evidence Act –
- Section 17– of Indian Evidence Act defines Admission as a statement which may be in oral, documentary, or electronic form, suggesting any inference as to any concerned fact and is made by any of the persons and under the circumstances.
- Section 18 –Admissions by party to proceeding or his agent; by suitor in representative character; by party interested in subject-matter; by person from whom interest derived –
- Statements made by the persons who are directly or indirectly a party to a suit.
- Statements made by persons who are suing or being sued in a representative character are admissions, only if those statements were made by the party while being in that representative character.
- Similarly, statements made by persons who have a pecuniary interest in the subject matter of the proceeding and statements made by persons from whom such interest is derived by the parties in suit, are also admissions if they are made while the maker had such an interest.
- For example, A bought a piece of land from B. Statements made by B at the time when B was the owner of the land is admissions against A.
- Section 19 –Admissions by persons whose position needs to be proved:
- Statements made by persons whose position or whose liability is necessary to prove as against any party to the suit, are admissions,
- if such statements would be relevant as against such persons in relation to
- such position or
- liability in a suit brought by or
- against the made if they are made whilst the person making them occupies such position or
- is subject of such liability.
- P undertakes to collect rent for Q.
- Q sues P for not collecting rent due from R to Q.
- X denies that rent was due from Z to Y.
- X statement by Z that he owned Y rent is an admission, and is a relevant fact as against X, if X denies that Z did owe rent to Y.
Section 20 – Admission by persons expressly referred to by party to suit –
Statements made by any persons to whom a party (to the suit) has expressly referred in reference to a matter in dispute for information, are admissions.
The question is, whether a horse sold by P to Q is sound P says to Q “Go and ask R. R knows all about it” R’s statement is an admission.
In the case of ChekhamKoteshwara Rao v. C Subbarao, AIR 1981, SC held that-
- before the right of a party can be taken to be defeated on the basis of an alleged admission by him, the implication of the statement must be clear and conclusive.
- There should not be any doubt or ambiguity.
- Further, it held that it is necessary to read all of his statements together and hence, stray elements elicited in cross examination cannot be taken as admission.
Section 21- Proof of admissions
Admissions are relevant and may be proved as against the person
- who makes them or
- his representative in interest and
- not by or on behalf of the person
- who makes them or by his representative in interest
- except in following cases:
- it is of a nature that the person making it, if were dead, it would be as relevant as between third persons under section 32 of the code
- it consists of a statement of existence of any state of mind or body,
- it is relevant otherwise than as an admission