Pre-Trial Confession and Right against Self-Incrimination

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PRE- TRIAL CONFESSION AND RIGHT AGAINST SELF- INCRIMINATION
Monalisa Banerjee1
Abstract
In the law of criminal evidence, a confession is a statement by a suspect in crime which is adverse to that person. The word ‘confession’ is no where defined, neither in Evidence Act nor in Criminal Law Procedure, however Justice Stephen in his Digest of the Law of Evidence defined confession as “confession is an admission made at any time by a person charged with a crime stating or suggesting the inference that he committed that crime.” A confession, if voluntary and truthfully made is an ‘efficacious proof of guilt’. Thus, it is an important piece of evidence and therefore it would be necessary to examine whether or not the confession made by the appellant was voluntary, true and trustworthy.
Confessions are an efficient method of crime investigation and detection. An admission of responsibility and guilt is an important step toward a defendant’s rehabilitation. One risk of relying too heavily on interrogations is coerced and false confessions. The poor and uneducated are likely to be particularly vulnerable to coercion and trickery. Confessions, in effect, result in guilt being determined at the pretrial stage rather than in a trial courtroom presided over by a judge and decided by a jury. The constitutional regulation of interrogations is designed to assure that confessions are the product of fair and regular procedures and are not the result of police coercion. Surrounding this confession there are many issues, as of how this confession is regarded, by whom it done or who gives it, whether confession to a police officer is admissible as evidence, whether the compelled confession is violating the right against self incrimination guaranteed under Article 20(3) of the Constitution. Thereby, an honest attempt has been made on part of the author going to the roots of the criminal justice system to bring to light the crux of the pre-trial confession and whether it is

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