January 17, 2022




Admission defined under section 17 as:

“An admission is a statement, which suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons, and under the circumstances, hereinafter mentioned.”

In short admission means:

a) A statement

b) Suggesting an inference

c) Made by any of the person

Admissions can be made orally; it can be documentary or in any electronic form. Admission unlike confession does not directly point towards the guilt of the accused, rather is a weaker form of evidence which the Court may reject if other evidence is proved to be untrue.[1]

Admissions are the assertions made by the witness, but it is not a substantive evidence. It just serves the purpose to check the veracity of the witness.[2]

Admissions are only examined in full and are not examined in parts. can only be read in its entirety and no statements can be taken out of context to form an admission of a fact.[3]

The admission must be clear and unambiguous. Admissions are made by the party to the proceedings or agents. Section 18 and 19 talks about the person by whom the admissions can be made.

Any admission made by the parties suing or sued in a representative character are not considered as admissible unless they are made by the parties making them held them as a character. Statements are made by—

(1) By party interested in subject-matter—persons who have any proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject-matter of the proceeding, and who make the statement in their character of persons so interested, or

(2) By person from whom interest derived- Persons from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject-matter of the suit, are admissions, if they are made during the continuance of the interest of the persons making the statements.


Section 20 brings an exception to the rule of admission made by the stranger. Admissions made by a third party are considered relevant when a party referred another to him for information in regard to uncertain or disrupted manner.[4]

Illustration- if the question is whether a horse sold by A to В is sound. A says to В— “you go and ask С who knows about it.” The statement of С is an admission.


Usually admission is made against a person against himself. But section 21 states exceptions where the admissions are made in favour of the one making it

  • Section 32 statements made by a dead person is admission in favour of that person
  • Section 14 Statement as to bodily feeling of state of mind
  • Statement otherwise relevant then it may be proved as otherwise relevant fact and not as admissions.

ILLUSTARTION: The question between A and В is, whether a certain deed is or is not forged, A affirms that it is genuine, В that it is forged.

A may prove a statement by В that the deed is genuine, and В may prove a statement by A that the deed is forged; but A cannot prove a statement by himself that the deed is genuine, nor can В prove a statement by himself that the deed is forged.


Section 22 deals with the admissibility of oral evidences.Oral admissions as to the contents of a document are not relevant unless and until the party proposing them shows that he is entitled to give secondary evidence of the contents of such document under the rules hereinafter contained, or unless the genuineness of a document produced is in question.

Oral admissions as to the content of the electronic recording are relevant, unless its genuineness is not in question.


Section 23 talks about admission in civil cases. In civil cases no admission is relevant, if it is made:

  • upon an express condition that evidence of it is not to be given.
  • under circumstances from which the Court can infer that the parties agreed together that evidence of it should not be given.


Admissions are not considered as a conclusive proof but may be used as an estoppel under section 31. This section gives evidentiary value to the admissions made under Section 17-30 of The Indian Evidence Act. Any admission, until and unless operated as an estoppel is not considered as conclusive, but is rebuttable. Admissions are a substantive piece of an evidence and should be taken as a whole.


[1] Abdul Shakur Khan v. R.D Tyagi,1999 Cr Lj 1524 (Bom).

[2] Bishwanath Prasad V. Dwarka Prasad 1 SCC 78 AIR 1974 SC

[3] Dharmavati Bai v. Shiv Singh, A.I.R 1991 MP 18.

[4] Ratanlal & Dhirajlal, The Law of Evidence, 146-157, (21st Edition, 2009), LexisNexis

Author Details: Muskan Kapoor (BBA LLB Student, Himachal Pradesh National Law University, Shimla)

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