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Report No. 185

IV. Should facts discovered from statements made by threats, inducement or promise (i.e. falling under section 24) be excluded as recommended in the 69th Report?

We have already referred to the passages from the 69th Report referring to this issue. Commission in that Report felt that if such facts were admissible, it would definitely encourage third degree methods being employed by the police. It may even be felt by the police that section 27 indirectly permits use of threats, inducement or promises. It agreed for 'section 25 and 26 facts' to be admissible but not to 'section 24 facts'.

Balancing human rights and public interest:

We have given our deep consideration to the question of balancing section 24 and section 27.

Here, on the one hand, we have the prisoner's human right under section 24 that he should not be subjected to any threats or physical violence. But section 24 deals with 'inducement or promise' apart from 'threats'. We have, in section 24, proposed that 'threats, coercion, violence, torture' be substituted.

We then proceed to Canada. Whether we can further sub-divide the statements referred to in section 24? Can we treat 'inducement and promise.- which do not involve 'threats, coercion or violence or torture' separately and treat discoveries made from statements obtained by 'inducement and promise' admissible, while making facts obtained by threats, coercion or violence or torture inadmissible? In our view, Yes. A right balance must be struck between the right of the accused on the one hand and the public interest involved in making such facts relevant. We therefore propose to segregate 'inducement, promise' from 'threat, violence or torture'.

We propose to make a change in section 27 by permitting facts discovered from statements made under section 24 if the statements were the result of 'inducement or promise' only but not if they were the result of 'threat, coercion, violence or torture'.

We recommend that section 27 be amended by taking a further classification within the 'facts discovered from statements' referable to section 24. That would be a further balancing act between human rights and public interest. In our view, facts discovered from statements made pursuant to 'inducement, promise' should be admissible while facts discovered from statements made pursuant to 'threats, coercion, violence or torture' be excluded. This would protect victims against human rights violation in great measure.

Review of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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