'Admission' Made By Accused To Police Officer Before Investigation Commences May Be Admissible: SC [Read Judgment]

"In a case where statement containing not a confession but admission, which is otherwise relevant and which is made before the investigation commences, may be admissible. We need not, however, say anything more"., said the Bench.

The Supreme Court has observed that a statement made by the accused to a police officer before the investigation commences, is admissible in evidence, if it contains only an admission [and not a confession].

The bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice KM Joseph observed that the bar under Section 162 CrPC operates in regard to the statement made to a Police Officer in between two points of time, viz., from the beginning of the investigation till the termination of the same.

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by Dipakbhai Jagdishchandra Patel who had challenged the orders of the Trial Court and the High Court refusing to discharge him of the offences under Sections 489B and 489C of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In his appeal, he questioned the admissibility of Section 161 statement made by him, which was relied by the Trial Court to frame charge against him. The bench observed:

"However, even if it is an admission, if it is made in the course of investigation under the CrPC to a Police Officer, then, it will not be admissible under Section 162 of the CrPC as it clearly prohibits the use of statement made to a Police Officer under Section 161 of the CrPC except for the purpose which is mentioned therein. Statement given under Section 161, even if relevant, as it contains an admission, would not be admissible, though an admission falling short of a confession which may be made otherwise, may become substantive evidence."

It also observed that a person who is named in the FIR can indeed be questioned and the statement can be taken by the Police Officer under Section 161 CrPC. However, the bench added:

"This, however, is subject to the bar of admissibility of a statement under Section 161 of the CrPC. Therefore, even if a statement contains admission, the statement being one under Section 161, it would immediately attract the bar under Section 162 of the CrPC."

Discharging the accused by setting aside the impugned orders, the bench also reiterated that the confession by a co-accused containing incriminating matter against a person would not by itself suffice to frame charge against the accused.

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