Section 21 IEA – The Indian Evidence Act, 1872 – Proof of admissions against persons making them, and by or on their behalf.
Section 21. Proof of admissions against persons making them, and by or on their behalf.––Admissions are relevant and may be proved as against the person who makes them, or his representative in interest;
but they cannot be proved by or on behalf of the person who makes them or by his representative in interest, except in the following cases:––
(1) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, when it is of such a nature that, if the person making it were dead, it would be relevant as between third persons under section 32.
(2) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, when it consists of a statement of the existence of any state of mind or body, relevant or in issue, made at or about the time when such state of mind or body existed, and is accompanied by conduct rendering its falsehood improbable.
(3) An admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it, if it is relevant otherwise than as an admission.
(a) The question between A and B is whether a certain deed is or is not forged. A affirms that it is genuine, B that it is forged.
A may prove a statement by B that the deed is genuine, and B may prove a statement by A that deed is forged; but A cannot prove a statement by himself that the deed is genuine, nor can B prove a statement by himself that the deed is forged.
(b) A, the captain of a ship, is tried for casting her away.
Evidence is given to show that the ship was taken out of her proper course.
A produces a book kept by him in the ordinary course of his business showing observations alleged to have been taken by him from day to day, and indicating that the ship was not taken out of her proper course. A may prove these statements, because they would be admissible between third parties, if he were dead, under section 32, clause (2).
(c) A is accused of a crime committed by him at Calcutta.
He produces a letter written by himself and dated at Lahore on that day, and bearing the Lahore post-mark of that day.
The statement in the date of the letter is admissible, because, if A were dead, it would be admissible under section 32, clause (2).
(d) A is accused of receiving stolen goods knowing them to be stolen.
He offers to prove that he refused to sell them below their value.
A may prove these statements, though they are admissions, because they are explanatory of conduct influenced by facts in issue.
(e) A is accused of fraudulently having in his possession counterfeit coin which he knew to be counterfeit.
He offers to prove that he asked a skilful person to examine the coin as he doubted whether it was counterfeit or not, and that that person did examine it and told him it was genuine.
A may prove these facts for the reasons stated in the last preceding illustration.
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