Admission (Section  17 to 23) of Indian Evidence Act Notes
Mr. Paramjeet Sangwan

Admission (Section 17 to 23) of Indian Evidence Act Notes

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## Introduction

In legal proceedings, the concept of admission holds significant importance. It refers to a statement made by a witness that suggests an inference to a fact in issue or a relevant fact. The Indian Evidence Act, 1872, provides a comprehensive framework for the admissibility and relevance of admissions. This article aims to delve into the various aspects of admission under the Indian Evidence Act, exploring its definition, who can make admissions, proof of admissions, and its implications in civil cases.

Definition of Admission

According to Section 17 of the Indian Evidence Act, an admission is any statement, whether oral, documentary, or contained in electronic form, that suggests an inference as to a fact in issue or a relevant fact. It serves as substantive evidence of the fact admitted. While a previous statement used to contradict a witness does not become substantive evidence, it raises doubts about the witness's credibility.

Who can make Admissions?

Section 18 of the Indian Evidence Act lays down the rules regarding who can make an admission. There are five categories of people whose statements will be considered as admissions:

  1. Parties to Proceedings: Statements made by parties to a proceeding, whether they appear on the record or not, are considered relevant admissions. This includes individuals who have an interest in the subject matter of the suit but are not listed as parties on the record.
  2. Admissions by Agents: Statements made by an agent in a suit are admissible as admissions against the person they represent. However, such statements are only binding if made during the agent's term of agency.
  3. Statements made in a Representative Capacity: When individuals sue or are sued in a representative capacity, any statements made by them will be admissible as admissions if made in their representative capacity.
  4. Persons with Pecuniary or Proprietary Interests: Admissions made by a party jointly interested with other parties in the subject matter of a suit will be treated as admissions against all parties involved, whether they are sued jointly or separately.
  5. Predecessors in Title: Statements made by the predecessor-in-title from whom a party derives their title will be admissible as admissions, provided the statement was made while the predecessor-in-title still held the title.

Proof of Admission against the Person Making them and in Civil Cases

Section 21 of the Indian Evidence Act states that admissions may be used against the party making them but cannot be used by that party for their own advantage. However, there are three exceptions to this rule:

Admission falling under Section 32: If the person making the admission is deceased, the admission may be used by a third person as relevant evidence.

Statement Relevant Otherwise than as Admission: If a statement made by a person is relevant for reasons other than as an admission, that person may use it as evidence.

State of Body and Mind: A person may use an admission made by themselves regarding the existence of a relevant state of body or mind.

In civil cases, Section 23 stipulates that an admission will not be relevant if there is an express or implied agreement between the parties that the admission should not be given. This allows parties to have open discussions without fear of their statements being used against them in court.

Principles of Admission

In the case of Basant Singh v. Janki Singh, the High Court laid down several principles regarding admissions:

  1. Statements in the plaint are admissible as evidence, but the court has the discretion to accept or reject specific statements based on their relevance.
  2. There is no distinction between admissions made in a pleading and other types of admissions.
  3. Admissions are always evaluated as a whole and cannot be dissected into parts.
  4. Admissions, though not conclusive evidence, can be challenged by both parties to demonstrate their truth or falsity.
  5. Admissions in the accused's own words are considered strong evidence.


Admission plays a crucial role in legal proceedings, simplifying the court's task when one party proves that the opposing party has recognized their case. The Indian Evidence Act provides a comprehensive framework for the admissibility and relevance of admissions. Understanding the definition of admission, who can make admissions, and the proof of admissions is essential for effective legal representation and the pursuit of justice.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek professional legal counsel for specific cases.

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