Confession mainly refers to the offender accepting any truth in the most
straightforward manner so that the same can be applied to him in criminal cases
against him. If an innocent person commits wrongdoing, it is called a false
confession. To better understand the topic, let us first understand the meaning
Justice leaves the highway when it is not dealt with according to "due process
established by law." It is horrifying to observe that those who protect the
rights and ensure the safety of citizens can lead to the end of their lives in
the most disgustingly condescending ways. In this article, the author will be
analyzing False Confessions and the way of dealing with them in different
In criminal law, the word confession is outlined as an individual confessing to
a crime. There are no debts that represent a confession. Justice Sir Leslie
Stephen explained for the first time during an outline of the Evidence Act that
"a guilty plea means that a person who might be charged with a crime confesses
or pleads guilty to the crime he has committed. Consent is considered part of
the acceptance as a result as stated in the commission section. Sections 24 to
30 of the Indian Evidence Act embody the confession of sins.
There are often
several reasons why a person incorrectly pleads guilty. Common reasons include
intimidation by the investigating officers, the use of inappropriate strategies
by the police in the investigation, and many others. Confessions of defendants
are often considered to be one of the most necessary pieces of evidence in
criminal proceedings, so it is necessary to ensure that such evidence does not
contain any criminal acts.
Meaning Of Confession
Judge Stephen defined confession in the summary of the Evidence Law, "confessing
a crime means that the person accused of the crime admits or implies
interference with the crime he committed."
An admission or confession under "Section 24 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872"
refers to the admission of any fact by an accused in such a way that the same
can be used against him in a trial instituted against him. Admissions are
included in the receipts section because they are defined in the commission
category. "Section 24 to 30 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 deals with
confession." According to the Indian Penal Code, a confession is a statement
made by an individual acknowledging and accepting his guilt of committing a
A confession is a statement made by a convicted person that serves to
establish his commission of a crime in a criminal case. A confession, if made
knowingly and voluntarily, may be recognized as a definite matter. A confession
has the rule to go against the person who makes it. The confession may be oral
or written. "According to Section 30 of the Indian Evidence Act, confessions
made by one or two or more accused jointly tried for the same offense can be
taken into account against a co-accused (Section 30).
Meaning Of False Confession
A false confession occurs when a person admits guilt when they are not the
perpetrator. Using intimidation or coercion to obtain a statement may lead to a
false confession. They can also be the result of the defendant's mental
disability. Admitting a lie may sound impossible, but it happens all the time
and can cause many problems during a criminal trial. A false confession can
occur when a person confesses to a crime in order to alert the court to the
person who actually committed the crime.
For example, a person may confess to a
crime to save a friend, family member, or relative who is being investigated. A
false confession can be used to avoid a severe sentence, for example when a
person confesses to a minor offense they did not commit. If the confession is
found to be false, the judge will undoubtedly expunge the same statement from
the record and it will no longer be accepted in court. Additionally, anyone who
makes a false confession can be held liable for fines for lying in court.
Types Of False Confessions:
There are many types of false confessions. Here are a few of them:
- Voluntary false confession
- Persuaded false confession
- Complaint false confession
Voluntary False Confession
This confession is made on the basis of the confession of the mind and
conscience of the confessor or on the basis of some external pressure or
coercion exerted on the confessor but not on any official/investigator.
Sometimes a voluntary false confession is motivated by psychological problems,
for example, a person may make a statement due to a strong need for punishment
or is unable to distinguish between reality and fantasy. A person may make a
voluntary false confession to protect and defend an actual suspect, to secure
participation in another crime, or to retaliate against another person. Judges
and lawyers often distrust these types of confessions.
In one case in the United States, "John Mark Karr confessed to the murder of
six-year-old JonBen�t Ramsey. Karr was deeply troubled by every aspect of his
murder, and ten years after his death he was deported to Thailand based on his
confession. However, his description contradicted the case specification and his
DNA was not the same as that found at the crime scene. His wife and brother said
he was at home in another state at the time of the murder and had never visited
Colorado. Prosecutors never charged him with this crime because his statement
was false. "
Persuaded False Confession:
Interrogative techniques can cause a person to question their memory and lead
them to believe that they committed a crime that they did not. This is usually
done in the following three stages:
The interrogator uses lengthy, tense, and oppressive questions to make the
defendant doubt his innocence.
Investigators give the defendant reasons for the case and how it could have
happened without him remembering it. Excessive personality, loss of
consciousness, post-traumatic stress disorder, or reduced memory can all be
considered causes of human behavior.
After an offender confesses to any wrongdoing, he may provide false evidence to
support the crime because he honestly believes he did it.
If authorities use coercion, threats, or coercion and the suspect tries to evade
investigation, he may or may not plead guilty. Students may imagine that if they
plead guilty, they will be released or avoid a harsh sentence. This is related
to the error mentioned above. It is usually easier for the confessor to delay
the confession after the interrogation is over. Interrogations in the hand area
are excessive, disturbing, unpleasant, disturbing.
The attitude of the person asking can be annoying. Their suspicions are often
designed to cause the accused self-confidence to cause anxiety, to prevent him
from finding fault, and to make him think that it is useless and closed.
Interrogation can take up to an hour, as is a false confession that debilitates,
debilitates and causes violence.
Dealing With False Confession In Different Countries:
India:In obtaining false confessions, the court deals with different types. The set of
laws commonly used for this purpose is called confessional law. If a person is
found to be falsely confessing, the following actions may be taken against them:
Contempt of Court: If such gratuitous confession of the accused causes or
frequently causes disruption of the proceedings of the courts and leads to
non-cooperation with the opposition party. The judge has absolute power to
Crimes can be suppressed: Any person who makes a false statement may be found
guilty of an additional offense depending on when and where the statement was
made and to whom. The person who is guilty of the sin is responsible
Lying: "Lying is defined as lying under oath. To lie is to lie in court. The
Indian Penal Code, of 1860 defines "fraud" in Chapter IX as "false evidence and
violation of civil rights" under Section 191. The penalty for perjury is
enshrined in Section 193 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 as imprisonment of seven
Lying to the police: Section 182 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 � "False
information to induce a public servant to exercise his statutory powers to the
detriment of another person. Any person who furnishes to any public service any
information which he knows or believes to be false, intends to make, or is
likely to cause, is a public servant�
do or omit to do anything which such public servant should not have done or
omitted to do if the true facts of the information given were known to him, or
The use of the official authority of a public officer to injure or insult any
person shall be punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months,
or a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars, or both. "
It could even lead to a heavy fine or even jail time for obstruction of justice.
CanadaIn Canada, a type of interrogation technique known as the "Reid Technique" is
named after John Reid, a former Chicago police officer. This approach involves
three phases � factual analysis, discussion, and questioning. First, the
suspects were seen to know the signs of lying or telling the truth. If at any
time the interviewee discovers that the suspect is lying, the questioning is
conducted in a way that they believe is guilty, which may include breaking any
denials from the suspect and refusing to believe his or her account. An
investigator may use false statements or misrepresentations may falsely claim
that a suspect failed a lie detector test or that his DNA was found at a crime
scene, for example. For fear of being caught, a judge may consider consent to be
the best option. Investigative standards for questioning suspects and witnesses
were revised in the recommendations of the 2011 Report.The report focuses on
the following three things:
- Interviews conducted under police control should be videotaped, especially if
the suspects are involved in serious cases of violence, and not only the final
statement should be in writing, but the entire interview.
- The criteria for investigations should also be that they increase the
credibility of the outcome of the investigation process.
- Appropriate strategies are required to be inculcated in the negotiation process
and it investigation should be done on why people confess crimes they have not
In addition to the above recommendations, different Canadian cities have their
own ideas about videotaping interviews. Because there is no law in Canada that
requires video recording during interviews with suspects. One of the landmark
cases in this regard was R v Sinclair.
United States Of America:A false confession is no longer unknown to any country. In countries such as the
United States, wiretapping technology is used to interrogate suspects. Saul
Kassin, a psychologist at the John Jay School of Criminal Justice in New York,
is one of the world's leading interrogation experts and has played a key role in
defining the concept of a false confession and bringing in a number of
prosecutors. The police opened their eyes and asked new questions and signs of
This was first discovered in the case of Huwe Burton, who spent
20 years on probation after a thorough police investigation. After being taken
to prison, the lawyer made every effort to prove his innocence, but lawyer
Burton asked Dr. Carson to explain the meaning of this false confession without
needing support. Burton's 30-year sentence. This confession misconception has
been considered in the United States.
Brazil:One of the most widespread practices in Brazil is police brutality against
suspects who may be poor or suspected of criminal activity. It shows police
brutality. Suspects turned to such abuse and insanity that false confessions
were their means of self-defense.
China:In countries such as China, the chance of false confessions increases due to the
prolonged detention of suspects and the use of highly mandatory interrogation
techniques. However, the best step the world has made is video chat.
Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Norway:The common denominator of all these countries is that, in order to avoid false
confessions, they resort to the "interview with investigators", which aims to
get more information from the accused instead of confessing their sins, without
resorting to forged and coercive methods.
The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Privy Council in Pakala Narayan
Swami by a margin of two to one in Palvinder Kaur Vs. State of Punjab. To
begin with, a confession is described as either an admission of guilt in terms
or an admission of essentially all the facts that constitute a crime. Second, a
vague statement, even if it contains some confessional statements, is not a
confession if it leads to an acquittal. Consequently, a statement containing
self-exculpatory information which, if valid, would contradict the matter or
offense cannot be considered an admission.
However, in Nishi Kant Jha v. State of Bihar
, the Supreme Court said that
there is nothing wrong in relying on a part of a confessional statement while
denying the rest, and the court drew guidance from English authorities for this
reason. Courts could rely on the exculpatory part of the accused's statements if
there is enough evidence to reject the exculpatory part.
In Regina v. McSilkney & Ors
, also known as the Birmingham Six, we concluded
that people react differently to coerced confessions. The incident was linked to
two pub bombings in Birmingham that killed nearly 200 people and seriously
injured at least 21 others. This led to the interrogation of six suspects, all
Irish Catholic immigrants, but the Provisional IRA was blamed for the attack.
The defendants, who were sentenced to life in prison, were released after
serving 16 years in prison, after being found guilty of wrongful conviction.
During the investigation, it was reported that they were severely harassed and
Punishment should not exist for revenge but to reduce crime and reform
criminals. The most heinous crime one can commit is to accuse an innocent
individual of something that forces them to pay costs for which they are not
even responsible. The investigators, the officers, and the detectives, who focus
on and follow the innocent, themselves fall into a pit of filth and misery. It
is terrifyingly confusing to witness those who are supposed to protect set traps
for their own comfort and pleasure.
The true criminal is still at large and
carrying out his crimes, while the weak, moral, and righteous individual is
dying behind bars, literally and metaphorically. In a global context, developed
countries seem to have well-established legal frameworks and guidelines to
prevent false declarations, but there is much room for improvement when it comes
to developing or underdeveloped countries, especially those in the African and
South Asian subcontinents. Limiting the number of days in custody and requiring
the accused to undergo a medical examination minimizes the likelihood of false
confessions and such approaches have proven effective in the Indian context.
Written By: Shaista Waseem,
- R v Sinclair 2010 SCC 35
- Palvinder Kaur Vs. State of Punjab 1952 AIR 354 1952 SCR 94
- Nishi Kant Jha v. State of Bihar 2002 AIR (SC) 3582
- R. v. McIlkenny, Hunter, Walker, Callaghan, Hill and Power (1991) 93 Crim. App. R. 287 [The Birmingham Six]
a third-year BA.LL.B. (Hons) student at the Unity Degree and law college Lucknow.