Introduction toSection 21 Evidence Act 1872
In the course of judicial proceedings, several admissions or self-regarding statements are made by the parties as to the suits. These admissions or self-regarding statements are of two types-
1) self-serving admission.
2) self-harming admission.
Self-harming statements are those that harm or prejudice or injure the interest of the person who makes them and they are relevant.
Self-serving statements or agreements are those that serve to promote or advance the interest of the person who makes them and they are not allowed to be proved except in certain cases.
section 21- proof of admission against the person making them and by or on their behalf.
Admissions, in general, are relevant but they are only when the admission is self hamming nature. But if they are of self-serving nature then such admission will not be allowed to be proved on behalf of the person who made the admission.
Sec 21 declares the relevancy of admission. It generally declares the admission to be relevant and thereafter it declares that only those admissions will be allowed to be proved which are self-harming nature ie and can be used against the person who made the admission. But it shall not be proved in favour of the person who made them as these are serving admissions.
Section 21 lays down the general rule that admission may be used against a person who makes them or his representatives in interest, but admission cannot be proved by or on behalf of the person making it. It is natural for a man to make statements in his favour. If a person makes a certain statement against his own interest it means that the statement is true. On the other side, a man wants to make a statement favourable to himself even if the statement is altogether false.
The difference b/w the two is that if a person makes a statement which is self-harming it will be somewhat guaranteed that the statement was true and spontaneous. On the other hand, if a statement is self-serving ie it goes in favour of the person who makes it then there are chances of it being fabricated ie it’s been made deliberately in order to support/favour oneself.
3 exceptions related to the self-serving statements are in the specified circumstances true and spontaneous and therefore allowed to be proved.
1) If the maker of admission is dead.
2) Admission made in a particular mental or physical state.
3)Statement of admission when it is otherwise relevant.
For a self-serving admission to be allowed to be proved. It is required that –
1) The statement should be made by the person in such manner and in such circumstances and it should be much of nature if the person is making it was dead then the statement would still be relevant u/s 32 in a suit or proceeding b/w two other parties.
For example – if he makes a statement may he can use the statement in his own D.D then if he dies. The be relevant U/S 32(1) against the accused, then if he does not die after the declaration, favour and against as the spontaneity and the truthfulness an extent guaranteed. He had a statement before the death had taken place the statement was to а
2) There is a certain statement relating to the state of mind and state of body which are relevant u/s 14. Such statements will be relevant per-se also if they are not accompanied by conduct. However, the same statements can b used by that person in his own favour in a suit or proceeding as an admission if the truthfulness of the statement is guaranteed.
For example – If it is accompanied by some conduct of the person which renders the falsehood of the statement improbable. For instance. when he made the statement that he is feeling paralysed his conduct also was such as shows that he was paralysed.
3)There may be certain statements which are in the self-serving form of admission. But who is not fall under exception(1) of the section21 they will not be allowed to prove as self-serving admission.
However, this statement may still be relevant under some other sections 6,8,13,34,14. In these cases, the statement will be allowed to be proved even though ultimately it goes in favour of the party who made it.