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It is a general misinterpretation by many law students, as admission and confession are used interchangeably by many people. However, they deal with different segments of statements. In its very essence, the admission is generally confession made, which could be admitted by the Court of Law according to the provision of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Let’s further dwell upon this important differentiation in this article.

What is Admission

Admission in the basic sense is an acknowledgement of admission of a fact. Admission and confession are an acknowledgement of particular facts. That is done to give recognition to a certain fact and this could be a fact either directly or indirectly relevant to the case as the case may be.


What are the essentials of Admission

Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 defines Admission. Essentials of the Admission are

  • Admission is a Statement
  • it could be oral/ documentary/ electronic.
  • it could be suggestion, inference of some fact relavant to Fact-in-issue.
  • it could be code by any person.
  • it could be done in any circumstances.

Admission is generally, a positive act of acknowledgement. This formal act of acknowledgement, during the proceedings, dispenses the production of evidence by conceding the purpose of litigation that the proposition of the fact is true.

In the case of Bhagat Singh v Bhagirathi, 1966 it was held that Admission is substantive evidence of the fact admitted, and admission duly corroborated, are admissible irrespective of whether the party making them appear as the witness or not. it was additionally, held in this case that admission is an exception to the rule of Hearsay.


What is Confession

Confession in its very crude format is the admission of guilt, where the statement is of admission of guilt, then the same is called a confession.

Lord Atkin’s definition was, that a confession must either admit in terms of the offence substantially, all the facts, which constitute the offence.

but, confession in front of a Police officer, or to another person in presence of a Police officer is not admissible, until and unless the same is done in the presence of a Magistrate.

In the case of Nishikant Jha v State of Bihar, the Apex Court held that there was nothing wrong in relying on the part of the confessional statement, if there is evidence which is in the inculpatory part and the inculpatory part can find support from another part, then there is nothing wrong in relying on the inculpatory part and discarding the exculpatory part. The inculpatory portion can be accepted if, the exculpatory portion is inherently probable.


Difference between Admission and Confession

The acknowledgement of the fact is an acknowledgement of the guilt, called a confession.

  1. Admission: it is comprehensive and It includes confession, on the other hand confession is merely a specie of admission.
  2. Mere acknowledgment of the fact suggesting inference, and confession is must admition of guilt in terms of the offence.
  3. Admission is applicable to both civil and criminal case, but the confession only applicable to criminal matter,
  4. Admission can be made to any person including police officer. But confession has to follow the mandate of Section 24-26
  5. Admission can only be proven against the person who makes it, but confession is relevant under the section 30.
  6. Admission can be made by any person refered to in Section 18-20. But confession only proceeds from the person who claims to have committed the offence.


It is suggestive from the above reading, that Confession is a specific kind of Admission, that admission of Guilt. Additionally, such limitations are binding on such confession. since, confessions are an admission of guilt, which could put a person behind bars, retaining his fundamental right, such admissions are given priority.

This article is written by Adish Jain, a 3rd-year law student at Symbiosis Law School, Noida.



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