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Crl.AppealNo.2295-2296of2010

Crl.AppealNo.2295-2296of2010

Crl.A.Nos.2295-2296 of 2010 -240-Further, in the case of Parmanada Pegu v. State ofAssam 57 , this Court relied upon many judgments, mostimportant of which is Subramania Goundan v. State ofMadras 58which was relied upon in the case of NavjotSandhu (supra), in order to hold that the confessionalstatement of the accused which is retracted, cannot berelied upon to convict him in the absence ofcorroborating evidence. In the Subramania Goundan case(supra), this Court held thus:“14. The next question is whether there iscorroboration of the confession since it hasbeen retracted. A confession of a crime by aperson, who has perpetrated it, is usually theoutcome of penitence and remorse and in normalcircumstances is the best evidence against themaker. The question has very often arisenwhether a retracted confession may form thebasis of conviction if believed to be true andvoluntarily made. For the purpose of arrivingat this conclusion the court has to take intoconsideration not only the reasons given formaking the confession or retracting it but theattending facts and circumstances surrounding57(2004) 7 SCC 77958 AIR 1958 SC 66

Crl.A.Nos.2295-2296 of 2010 -241-the same. It may be remarked that there can beno absolute rule that a retracted confessioncannot be acted upon unless the same iscorroborated materially. It was laid down incertain cases one such being In re. KesavaPillai ILR 53 Mad 160: (AIR 1929 Mad 837) (B)that if the reasons given by an accused personfor retracting a confession are on the face ofthem false, the confession may be acted upon asit stands and without any corroboration. Butthe view taken by this court on more occasionsthan one is that as a matter of prudence andcaution which has sanctified itself into a ruleof law, a retracted confession cannot be madesolely the basis of conviction unless the sameis corroborated one of the latest cases being'Balbir Singh v. State of Punjab (S) AIR 1957SC 216 (C) , but it does not necessarily meanthat each and every circumstance mentioned inthe confession regarding the complicity of theaccused must be separately and independentlycorroborated nor is it essential that thecorroboration must come from facts andcircumstances discovered after the confessionwas made. It would be sufficient, in ouropinion, that the general trend of theconfession is substantiated by some evidencewhich would tally with what is contained in theconfession. In this connection it would beprofitable to contrast a retracted confessionwith the evidence of an approver or anaccomplice. Though under S. 133 of the EvidenceAct a conviction is not illegal merely becauseit proceeds on the uncorroborated testimony ofwitnesses, illustration (b) to S. 114 lays downthat a court may presume that an accomplice isunworthy of credit unless he is corroborated inmaterial particulars. In the case of such a

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