Admission & Confession

The statement “All confessions are admissions, but not all admissions are confessions” suggests that there exists a relationship between the terms confession and admission. To comprehend this relationship more fully, it is essential to delve into the relevant provisions of the Indian Evidence Act.

Indian Evidence Act

Sections 17 through 31 of the Evidence Act encompass provisions related to admission, which also encompass the provisions related to confession. While the Evidence Act does not provide a specific definition for confession, it addresses the inadmissibility of confessions within the provisions related to admissions. This interrelation suggests that these two terms are closely connected. First, let’s establish the meanings of these two terms:


Section 17 of the Evidence Act provides a definition for admissions. It encompasses any statement made by an individual in their regular life to another person, and such statements can be utilized against them. In simpler terms, admissions pertain to self-incriminating statements made by an individual to someone else, which can be presented as evidence in the form of an admission against them. For instance, if ‘A’ told ‘B’ that he has strong aversion for ‘C’ and expressed a desire to harm ‘C,’ this statement made by ‘A’ can be used against him (A) as an admission that he dislikes ‘C’ and harbors ill intentions towards ‘C,’ especially if ‘C’ is deceased, during the trial.


While the Evidence Act does not provide a specific definition for confession, it addresses the inadmissibility of confessions within the chapter related to admissions. A confession essentially involves an individual accepting their own guilt for a particular offense. For instance, if ‘A’ informs ‘B’ that he is responsible for the death of ‘C,’ this statement constitutes a confession, as ‘A’ is explicitly admitting to committing the offense. To sum up, both admissions and confessions consist of self-incriminating statements, but confessions involve the direct acknowledgment of one’s guilt for a specific wrongdoing.


Under section 17 admissions are defined and section 21 of the Evidence act states the relevancy of admission whereas confessions are not defined under the Evidence Act but the irrelevancy of confessions is given under sections 24-26 of the Evidence act. The question arises here, where confessions are relevant? When all confessions are admissions then definitely confessions are also relevant under section 21 of the Evidence itself.

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