This is an exception to the rule contained in S. 24. It lays down the conditions under which a confession, which is rendered irrelevant by S.
24, may become relevant. If it is proved, to the complete satisfaction of the Court, that the impression produced by the threat or promise has been totally removed, e.g., by lapse of time or by any intervening caution given by a person of superior (but not of equal or inferior) authority, a confession subsequently made will be admissible. Such a confession is placed on the same footing as a voluntary confession. In all cases, it is for the Judge to properly weigh all the facts and circumstances of the case to come to a definite conclusion that the impression caused by the inducement, threat or promise has been completely removed.
In one case, a female servant was suspected of stealing money, and on Monday, her mistress told her, “You will be forgiven if you confess.” On Tuesday, she was taken before a Magistrate, and as she did not confess, she was discharged. Then, on Wednesday, she was arrested once again, and the Police Superintendent told her in the presence of the mistress, “You are not bound to say anything, but if you do, your mistress will hear you.” However, the Police Superintendent did not know that her mistress had promised to forgive her, and he did not tell her that if she made a statement, it would be given in evidence against her. The servant then made a confession.
It was held that a confession made in these circumstances was not receivable in evidence, because it can be fairly presumed that the promise of the mistress was operating on the servant’s mind at the time the statement was made, all the more so, as the interval between the two days was such a short one. 2. Confession made under promise, deception, etc. (S. 29): If a confession is otherwise relevant, it does not become irrelevant, merely because it was made— (a) Under a promise of secrecy; or (b) In consequences of a deception practised on the accused person for the purpose of obtaining it; or (c) When the accused was drunk; or (d) In answer to questions he need not have answered; or (e) When the accused was not warned — (i) That he was not bound to make such confession, and (ii) That evidence of it might be given against him. This section is based on the well-established rule of law that any breach of condifence or of good faith or the practice of any artifice does not invalidate a confession. The five circumstances mentioned in this section are not exhaustive.
Although the mere use of an artifice to obtain a confession does not make such confession inadmissible, such confession would not carry much weight. Thus, in an American case, a confession was obtained by fasely telling the accused that he was seen by someone when he did the act, and the Court held that such a confession was inadmissible. Statements made while muttering in Sleep: An interesting question arises as to whether incriminating statements made by a person while talking in sleep are to be admitted. As a general rule, such statements are not to be taken as evidence against the person, mainly because the faculty of judgment of a person is almost completely suspended during sleep. This interesting point arose in R. v.
Elizabeth in England and in People v. Robinson in the U.S.A. and in both cases; such evidence was held not to be admissible. 3. Confession leading to discovery of fact (S. 27): When any fact is deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from an accused person in the custody of a police-officer, so much of such information (whether it amounts to a confession or not), as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered, may be proved.
Principle of S. 27: This section is founded on the principle that if the confession of the accused is supported by the discovery of a fact, it may be presumed to be true and not to have been extracted. This rule comes into operation only— (1) If and when certain facts are deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from an accused person in police custody; and (2) If the information relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered. The broad ground for not admitting confessions made under the inducement, threat, or promise to a police-officer is the danger of admitting false confessions. However, the necessity for this exclusion disappears in a case provided for by this section, when the truth of the confession is guaranteed by the discovery of facts in consequence of the information given. Section 27 is an exception to the rules enacted in Sections 25 and 26 of the Act, which provide that no confession made to a police- officer can be proved as against a person accused of an offence, and that no confession made by any person whilst he is in the custody of the police-officer, unless it is made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate, can be proved as against that person: Ramkrishan v. State (1955) S.
C. 104), re-stating the opinion of the Privy Council in Pullukury Kottaya v. Emperor, (1947 P. C. 67). In the above Privy Council case, it was observed that it is fallicious to treat the ‘fact discovered’ as equivalent to the object produced; the fact discovered embraced the place from which the object is produced, and the knowledge of the accused as to this, and the information given must relate distinctly to this fact. Information supplied by a person in custody that “I will produce a knife concealed in the roof of my house’ does hot lead to the discovery of a knife, as knives were discovered many years ago.
It leads to the discovery of the fact that a knife is concealed in the house of the informant to his knowledge, and if the knife is proved to have been used in the commission of the offence, the fact discovered is very relevant. The above was quoted with approval in Prabhoo v. State of U.P.
(A.I.R. 1963 S.
C. 113). The Kerala High Court has held that there is nothing in S. 27 to indicate that the person who discovers the incriminating fact should be the identical person who has received the information. All that is necessary is that in respect of such information, the accused should be at the giving end and a police-officer at the receiving end.
(Sekharan v. State of Kerala, 1980 Cr. C.J. 31) The Supreme Court has held that failure on the part of the police to interrogate the accused, at whose instance a weapon was recovered, cannot be sufficient justification to hold that the recovery of the weapon was fake. (State of Haryana v. Sher Singh, (1981) 2 S.C.
C. 300) The Patna High Court has observed that a statement leading to the recovery of a dead body cannot be used against any person other than he make of such statement. (Surendra Prasad v.
State of Bihar, 1992 Cri. L.J. 2190)