The Confession

Raja and 13 others enrolled themselves in ‘Tamilar Pasarai’ to blast ‘Namakkal Kavignar Maligai’.

The law of confession is embodied in Sections 24 to 30 of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872. It is well­-settled, a confession which is not free from doubt about its voluntariness, is not admissible in evidence. A confession caused by inducement, threat or promise cannot be termed a voluntary confession.

Section 15(1) of The Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 is a self­-contained scheme and operates independently of The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and The Code of Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Kartar Singh, (1994) 3 SCC 569 while upholding the validity of the said provision has issued certain guidelines to be followed. These guidelines have been issued to ensure, the confession obtained is not tainted with any vice but is in strict conformity with well­-recognized and accepted aesthetic principles and fundamental fairness. The entire proceedings on record should reflect application of mind into various surrounding circumstances including questions and answers elicited. In law, it is not technical observance of rules; real satisfaction about voluntariness of confession is sine qua non. It is necessary to notice here, complying with the rules is not an empty formality or a mere technicality as these provisions serve a statutory purpose to ensure a fair trial as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. In the present case, there is nothing on record to prove the voluntariness of the statement.”

Hon’ble Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, Raja v. State of Tamil Nadu, [Criminal Appeal No. 1120 of 2010].