Article by Vijay Pal Dalmia, Advocate
Supreme Court of India & High court of Delhi
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In the case of Mohtesham Mohd. Ismail vs. Spl.Director, Enforcement Directorate ((220) E.L.T.3 (S.C.) ; MANU/SC/4019/2007) the Hon'ble Supreme Court, in the light of the case Francis Stanly @ Stalin v. Intelligence Officer, Narcotic Control Bureau, Thiruvanthapuram MANU/SC/8783/2006 emphasized that confession only if found to be voluntary and free from pressure, can be accepted. A confession purported to have been made before an authority would require a closure scrutiny. It is furthermore now well-settled that the court must seek corroboration of the purported confession from independent sources.
In the case of Vinod Solanki Vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors. 2009(233)ELT157(S.C.) / MANU/SC/8446/2008 / 92SCL157(SC) / 2008(16)SCALE31 / (2008)16SCC537MANU/SC/8446/2008, the issue before the court was with respect to "burden of proof". In the above case the Supreme Court of India has opined:
- that confessional statement of Appellant was acceptable in evidence.
- Appellant had not brought out anything to displace his confessional statement to prove its untruthfulness or involuntary nature.
- The burden was on person retracting confessional statement to lead some evidence as to why confessional statement could be rejected. No evidence on that count was led.
- Furthermore, mere retraction of confession could not be sufficient to make confessional statement irrelevant for purpose of proceeding in a criminal case or a quasi criminal case.
Therefore, mere retraction of confession shall not be sufficient to make confessional statement irrelevant for purpose of proceeding in a criminal case.
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