Confession of Co-accused not permitted against another accused if tried separately

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In this case the Court has convicted the appellant on the basis of the confession of the appellant and the confession statement of the two other co-accused.

Similar situation arose in the case of  Ananta   Dixit  v.  The   State and the Orissa High Court was considering a similar case under Section 30 of the Evidence Act. 

The appellant, in this case, was absconding. The question for consideration was whether a confession of one   of the accused persons who was tried earlier, is admissible in evidence against the appellant. The Court held that the confession of the co-accused was not admissible in evidence against the present appellant. The Court held:

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“ As   recorded   by the learned   trial Judge, the accused   Narendra Bahera, whose confessional statement   had been relied upon, had been tried earlier and not jointly with the appellant and the co-accused   person Baina Das. A confession of the accused may be admissible and used not only against him but also against a co-­accused person tried jointly with him for the same offence. Section 30 applies to a case in which the confession is made by the accused at the same time with the accused person   against whom the confession is used. The confession of an accused tried previously would be rendered inadmissible. Therefore, apart from the evidentiary value of the confession of a co-­accused person, the confession of Narendra Behera was not to be admitted under Section 30 of the Evidence Act against   the present appellant and the co­-accused Baina Das.”

The court  in complete agreement with the view of the High Court. Held that since the trial of the other two accused persons was separate, their  confession statements are not admissible in evidence and the same cannot be taken as evidence against the appellant.