top of page

Discovery Statement Evidence Act


Discovery Statement

Content:-



Discovery Statement In Evidence Act


Section 27 of the Evidence Act allows for the admission of information received from an accused person in police custody if it leads to the discovery of a fact related to the crime, irrespective of whether the information amounts to a confession.


This provision serves as an exception to the general rule prohibiting the use of confessions made to police officers.


The principle underlying Section 27 is that if the information provided by the accused results in the discovery of a relevant fact, it lends credibility to the confession and indicates its truthfulness.


This provision acts as a safeguard against coerced confessions, as the truth of the confession is validated by the subsequent discovery of evidence.


Typically, Section 27 comes into play when an accused person in police custody reveals information that leads to the recovery of crucial evidence such as a weapon, stolen goods, or a dead body related to the crime they are accused of.


The term "discovery of fact" encompasses not only the object found but also the location from which it is recovered and the accused's knowledge of its existence.


However, information regarding the past use of the object produced is not considered relevant to its discovery and may not be admissible under Section 27.


This provision ensures that only information directly linked to the discovery of evidence is admissible as evidence in court.


Section 27 Indian Evidence Act: Principles


Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act is rooted in the principle that if a confession made by an accused person is substantiated by the discovery of a relevant fact, it can be presumed to be true and not coerced.


This provision serves as an exception to Sections 25 and 26 of the Act, which generally exclude confessions made under inducement, threat, or in police custody from being admitted as evidence.


For Section 27 to apply, two conditions must be met: first, certain facts must be discovered as a result of information received from the accused person while in police custody, and second, the information provided must distinctly relate to the fact discovered.


This section is designed to mitigate the risk of false confessions by linking the truthfulness of the confession to the subsequent discovery of evidence.


The section begins with the word "provided," indicating that it functions as a proviso or exception to the aforementioned sections of the Act.


Its purpose is to ensure that if a fact is genuinely discovered based on information provided by the accused, there is a level of assurance that the information was truthful and can be admitted as evidence.


However, the admissibility of the information depends on its relevance to the fact discovered.


In practice, the prosecution should aim to present written records documenting only the portion of the accused's statement that led to the discovery of the evidence.


Relying solely on oral statements, without corroborating written records, can be risky and unreliable for the prosecution's case.


Doctrine of Confirmation


The doctrine of confirmation, as elucidated by Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, underscores the significance of subsequent events in validating the truthfulness of information provided by an accused person.


According to this doctrine, only the information given by the accused that leads to the discovery of a fact is admissible in evidence, regardless of whether the information constitutes a confession or not.


At its core, the doctrine is based on the premise that if a fact is unearthed as a result of a search conducted based on information obtained from a prisoner, the discovery itself serves as a confirmation of the accuracy of the information provided by the prisoner.


Whether the information provided is incriminating or exculpatory in nature, if it ultimately leads to the revelation of a fact, it is deemed reliable and admissible as evidence.


Considerations Under Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act


  1. Relevance of the Fact: The fact discovered must be relevant to the case at hand, as defined in Section 5 of the Evidence Act. It should be a fact that the information helps to reveal and that would be challenging to ascertain otherwise.

  2. Cause and Effect Relationship: There must be a clear cause-and-effect relationship between the information provided by the accused and the fact discovered. The information should directly lead to the discovery of the fact, and the two should be connected as cause and effect.

  3. Absence of Prior Knowledge: The fact discovered should not have been previously known to the police or investigators before the information was provided by the accused. The information should genuinely contribute to the revelation of new information or evidence.

  4. Exclusion of Inadmissible Portions: Any portion of the information that does not meet the criteria outlined in Section 27 should be excluded from consideration. Only the portion of the information directly related to the discovered fact should be admissible.

  5. Place of Concealment: The place from which the incriminating article or evidence is recovered must be a location of concealment that would have been difficult or impossible for the police to find without assistance from the accused.

  6. Best Possible Evidence: The prosecution should present the best possible evidence related to the discovery of the fact. Simply pleading a lapse of memory or failing to question prosecution witnesses adequately is not sufficient to fulfil this responsibility.

  7. Corroborative Evidence: The disclosure statement provided by the accused is not considered substantive evidence to convict the accused. Instead, it serves as corroborative evidence that supports other evidence presented in the case.



'Fact Discovered' in Section 27"


Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act delineates the notion of a "fact discovered" concerning the information provided by an accused person. This concept encompasses various elements, including the location from which the object was produced and the accused's awareness of its existence.


Crucially, the information must be distinctly related to the object in question to qualify as a "fact discovered."


It's important to note that the term "fact" under Section 27 is not limited solely to tangible, physical objects. Instead, it encompasses any relevant information or evidence that emerges as a result of the accused's disclosure.


However, the mere recovery of incriminating items at the behest of the accused is insufficient to implicate them in a crime. To establish culpability, it must also be demonstrated that the recovered articles establish a connection between the accused and the alleged criminal activity.


In other words, there must be a clear link between the recovered items and the offence in question for them to serve as incriminating evidence against the accused.


Landmark Cases

Pulukuri Kottaya v Emperor (AIR 1947 PC 67)


Scope of Section 27: Section 27 provides an exception to the prohibition imposed by Section 26 and enables certain statements made by a person in police custody to be proved.


The condition necessary to activate Section 27 is the discovery of a fact in consequence of information received from the accused, and the information must distinctly relate to the fact thereby discovered.


Relationship between Sections 26 and 27: The proviso to Section 26 added by Section 27 should not nullify the substance of the section. The "fact discovered" encompasses not only the object produced but also the place from which it is produced and the accused's knowledge of it.


Information about the past use of the object produced is not related to its discovery.


Admissibility of Statements: Statements made by the accused that directly lead to the discovery of a fact are admissible under Section 27. However, any self-incriminatory or narrative statements that do not directly relate to the discovery of the fact must be rigorously excluded.


Examples of Admissible and Inadmissible Statements: Statements must be scrutinised to discern the admissible parts that directly lead to the discovery of a fact. For instance, if an accused states, "I have buried the property stolen by me in the field.


I will show it," the admissible part is "I have buried the property in my field. I will show it," while the inadmissible part is "stolen by me."


Principles Laid Down by the Supreme Court: The Supreme Court has laid down certain conditions for the application of Section 27, including the requirement that the accused must be in police custody at the time of providing the information.


Only the portion of the information that distinctly relates to the fact discovered is admissible.


Mohd. Inayatullah v State of Maharashtra (AIR 1976 SC 483)


Conditions for Section 27 to Apply: For Section 27 to be invoked, certain conditions must be met: There must be the discovery of a relevant fact in consequence of information received from the accused.


The discovery of such a fact must be deposed to. The accused must be in police custody at the time of providing the information. Only the portion of the information that distinctly relates to the fact discovered is admissible.


Scope of Admissible Information: Only the part of the accused's statement that directly leads to the discovery of a fact is admissible under Section 27.


In the case of Mohd. Inayatullah, only the portion of the statement regarding the place of deposit of the chemical drums was considered admissible because it was the immediate cause of the discovery.


Other parts of the statement, such as past history or confessions, do not contribute to the discovery of the fact and are therefore inadmissible.


Interpretation of Accused's Knowledge: In determining the admissibility of the statement, the court considers whether the accused's knowledge of the fact discovered is sufficient to incriminate them.


In the case of Mohd. Inayatullah, because the drums were found in a public place and could have been placed there by anyone, the accused's mere knowledge of their location was not sufficient to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


Therefore, the accused was given the benefit of the doubt.


Accessibility of the Location: The crucial factor in determining the admissibility of evidence is not whether the location where the discovery was made is accessible to others, but whether it was ordinarily visible to others.


Even if an article is found in a place accessible to others, it can still be admissible if it was concealed in a manner that made it invisible to ordinary observation.



2 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page