Admission and What Is the Evidentiary Value of Admission:

Admission plays a very important part in judicial proceedings. Admission has been dealt with in Section 17 to 31 of Indian Evidence Act 1872.

Admission – Defined (Section 17)

“An Admission is a statement, oral or documentary or contained in electronic form which suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact and which is made by any of the persons and under the circumstances hereinafter mentioned.”

Section 17 point to three things. It first defines- “Admission” in term of a statement which may be oral or documentary or in electronic fact.

Secondly- the Section say that an admission will be relevant only it is made by any person specified in the Act. The list is to be found in Sec 18.

Thirdly- Section say that it will be relevant only in circumstances mentioned in the Act. Such circumstances are mentioned in Sec 18-30 of Indian Evidence Act 1872.

Essentials of Admission:

An admission has got the following essentials-

~An Admission is a “statement” which suggests any “inference” as to any fact in issue or relevant fact.

~It must be made by any of the person prescribed at the act.

~It must also be made under the ‘circumstances’ prescribed by the act.

~An admission may be oral or documentary.

A Person Whose Admissions Is Relevant:

Admissions of the following persons are relevant-

1.  A party to a civil or criminal proceeding or his expressly or impliedly authorised agent (Sec 18).

2.  Representatives of parties.

3.  Persons having proprietary or pecuniary interest.

4.  Predecessor in title.

5.  Persons whose position is in issue (Sec 19).

6.  Statement by referees (Sec 20).

Nature of Admission:

The statements made by parties during judicial proceeding are 'self regarding statements'. The self-regarding statements may be classified under two heads –

i) Self-serving statements; and
ii) Self-harming statements.

i) Self-serving Statements - Self-serving statements are those, which serve, promote or advance the interest of the person making it. Hence they are not allowed to be proved. They enable to create evidence for themselves.
ii) Self-harming - Self-harming statements are those which harm or prejudice or injure the interest of the person making it.  These self-harming statements all technically known as “Admissions" and are allowed to be proved.

Illustration:
The question between A and B is, whether a certain deed is or is not forged. A affirms that it is genuine, B that it is forged.
A may prove a statement by B that the deed is genuine, and B may prove a statement by A that the deed is forged; but A cannot prove a statement by himself that the deed is genuine nor can B Prove a statement by himself that the deed is Forged.

Evidentiary Value of Admission:

Admissions are not conclusive proof of the matters admitted, but they may operate as estoppel under the provision hereinafter contained (Sec 31 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872).

Admission dealt with Indian Evidence Act (Sec17 to 23, Sec31) is nothing but a piece of evidence. They are not conclusive proof of the facts admitted like the judicial admission (Sec 58). But they may operate as estoppel under Sec 115 to 117 of the Act.

Bharat Singh v. Bhagirath AIR 1966

In this case, court held that admission is substantive evidence of fact.

Sita Ram v. Salance Prasad AIR 1966 SC

Admission is not admissible against a person other than the person making it unless such person can be said to be bound by such admission.

Admission Not Conclusive Proof:

An Admission does not constitute a conclusive proof of the fact admitted. It is only prima facie proof and proving contrary is allowed. An admission being not conclusive proof of the fact admitted, evidence can be given to contradict it. But until evidence to the contrary is given and admission can safely be assumed to be proved.