Extra Judicial Confessions II

It is true that an extra-judicial confession is used against its maker but as a matter of caution, advisable for the Court to look for a corroboration with the other evidence on record. In Gopal Sah, (2008) 17 SCC 128 this Court held that an extra-judicial confession is, on the face of it, a weak evidence and the Court is reluctant, in the absence of a chain of cogent circumstances, to rely on it, for the purpose of recording a conviction. The classic enunciation of law pertaining to circumstantial evidence, its relevance and decisiveness, as a proof of charge of a criminal offence, is amongst others traceable in Sharad Birdhichand Sarda, (1984) 4 SCC 116. It has further been considered by this Court in Sujit Biswas, (2013) 12 SCC 406 and Raja, (2015) 11 SCC 43. It has been propounded that while scrutinizing the circumstantial evidence, a Court has to evaluate it to ensure the chain of events is established clearly and completely to rule out any reasonable likelihood of innocence of the accused. Though the materials on record hold some suspicion, but the prosecution has failed to elevate its case from the realm of “may be true” to the plane of “must be true” as is indispensably required in law for conviction on a criminal charge. It is trite to state that in a criminal trial, suspicion, howsoever grave, cannot substitute proof.”

Hon’ble Justice A. Rastogi, Devi Lal v. State of Rajasthan, [Criminal Appeal No. 148 of 2010].