2020 [4] advocatemmmohan apex court cases 1 = whether a confession of one of the accused persons who was tried earlier [due to split of the case], is admissible in evidence against the appellant ?. No

1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 1120 OF 2010
RAJA @ AYYAPPAN … APPELLANT
VERSUS
STATE OF TAMIL NADU … RESPONDENT
J U D G M E N T
S. ABDUL NAZEER, J.

  1. This criminal appeal filed under Section 19 of the Terrorist
    and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act, 1987 (in short ‘the TADA
    Act’) is directed against the judgment and order dated 04.12.2009
    passed by the Presiding Judge, Designated Court No.2, Chennai, in
    Calendar Case No.1/2007, whereby the Designated Court has
    convicted the appellant and sentenced him to undergo rigorous
    imprisonment for 2 years under Section 120­B IPC and 5 years
    each under Section 120­B IPC read with Section 3(3) and 4(1) of the
    2
    TADA Act and under Section 120­B IPC read with Section 5 of
    Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and all the sentences imposed were
    ordered to be run concurrently.
  2. The case of the prosecution in brief is that during June 1988,
    the absconding accused, Ilango @ Kumaran @ Ravi @ Santhosh and
    Suku @ Sukumaran @ Kumar, had formed an organization at
    Trichy under the name ‘Tamilar Pasarai’, with the object of
    achieving separate Statehood for Tamil Nadu and to blast Central
    and State Government buildings with bombs with a view to overawe
    the Government established by law. The appellant herein and 13
    other accused have enrolled themselves in the said organization
    and they entered into a criminal conspiracy during June 1988 to
    commit an illegal act and to blast the State Government building in
    the Secretariat by name ‘Namakkal Kavignar Maligai’ and in
    furtherance of the said conspiracy, Suku and Shanmuga Sundaram
    had undergone a course in electronics at Tamil Nadu Advanced
    Technical Institute, Trichy, and learnt the mechanism for devising
    electronic timer, to be used in the time bombs to be manufactured
    by them.
    3
  3. The further case of the prosecution is that during September
    1990, the above said Suku had brought electronic printed circuit
    board, integrated circuit switches, resisters and directed Shanmuga
    Sundram to device electronic timer device, to be attached to time
    bomb. The appellant, along with two other accused, wrote slogans
    in the paper (MO­7) hailing ‘Tamilar Pasarai’ and kept it near the
    time bomb on 22.09.1990. The bomb was to be blasted by another
    accused, namely, Sukku, in a jerrycan (MO­1) containing explosives
    with timer devices (MO­6), near Namakkal Kavignar Maligai on
    22.09.1990. The bomb was noticed before its explosion at about
    6.45 a.m. by the Head Constable, G.M. Rajendran (PW­1), attached
    to Armed Reserves, Madras, and the said bomb was subsequently
    defused. Thereafter, information was given by PW­1 to the Assistant
    Commissioner, in­charge of the Fort Police Station, who handed
    over the investigation to Parthasarathy (PW­21), the then D.S.P.,
    who registered the case initially under Section 4 of the Explosive
    Substances Act, 1908 and under Sections 2­F(d)(1) and (2) read
    with Section 13 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
    Subsequently, during the course of investigation, the charges were
    4
    altered against the accused under Section 120­B IPC read with
    Sections 3(3) and 4(1) of TADA Act and under Section 5 of the
    Explosive Substance Act, 1908.
  4. On 24.09.1990, the place of incident was searched by the
    bomb disposal squad and the seized items were sent for finger print
    examination. A request was also made to the Chief Controller of
    Explosives for examining the explosive substance.
  5. The statements of witnesses were recorded in respect of the
    aforesaid offences on the basis of the information received during
    investigation. The Inspector of Police C.B.C.I.D., Thanjavore, raided
    the premises of one Abdul Kalam and handed over his custody to
    Inspector Raman of ‘Q’ Branch.
  6. On 10.05.1993, PW­26, the then Superintendent of Police,
    SBCID, received the case file pertaining to Cr. No.1 GO/90, Fort
    Station, Chennai. Thereafter, he sent the requisition for the
    extension of remand of the accused Sathish @ Vadivelu and Abdul
    Kalam, on 04.06.1993 and 14.07.1993 respectively. He gave
    requisition to the competent authority for sanction to prosecute
    Abdul Kalam and Vadivelu and obtained the sanction orders. On
    5
    receiving the statement of the accused, Chandran, he obtained
    sanction for prosecution of Chandran under the TADA Act on
    02.09.1993.
  7. After completion of the investigation, the police on 03.09.1993,
    filed the charge­sheet against the accused Nos. 1 to 14 and the
    unknown accused, under Section 120­B read with Section 3(3), (4)
    (1) of the TADA Act and Section 5 of the Explosive Substance Act
    and Section 7 read with Section 35(1)(A), Section 3 read with
    Section 25(1)(B) of the Arms Act. Thereafter, the statements of the
    witnesses were recorded by the Special Judge in the aforesaid case.
  8. It was the further case of the prosecution that on 24.05.2007,
    PW­28, Superintendent of Police, Ashok Kumar, ‘Q’ Branch, CID
    Head Quarters, Chennai, came to know about the arrest of the
    appellant­accused by the DSP ‘Q’ Branch Tanjavore, in connection
    with the Mannarkudi P.S. Cr. No.954/94 and as the appellant was
    involved in the subject case, the investigating officer was informed
    to take necessary steps for the same. Accordingly, PW­26 took steps
    for the police custody of the appellant from 25.07.2007 to
    27.07.2007. During the police custody, the appellant voluntarily
    6
    wished to give his confessional statement and as such he was
    produced before PW­28, Superintendent of Police, on 26.07.2007
    with a requisition, Ex. P­55 by PW­27. On 27.07.2007, PW­28
    recorded the confession of the accused, observing the formalities
    under Section 15 of the TADA Act, as Ex. P­56 and P­57. PW­28
    made an appendix as per the said provision and the appellant was
    handed over to the DSP to be produced before the Court. All the
    proceedings were sent in a sealed cover to the Chief Metropolitan
    Magistrate through special messenger on 27.07.2007.
  9. Thereafter, the charges were framed against the appellant,
    read over and explained to him. However, while questioning, the
    appellant denied the charges. The prosecution examined as many
    as 28 witnesses to prove the case against the accused. The
    appellant was examined under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal
    Procedure, 1973. The appellant was permitted to be examined as
    DW­1. He filed the documents Ex. DW­1 to DW­7. As stated earlier,
    the Designated Court has convicted the appellant in the aforesaid
    terms.
    7
  10. Shri S. Nagamuthu, learned senior counsel appearing for the
    appellant, has submitted that the Designated Court has relied on
    the confession (Ex. P­57) of the appellant for his conviction. PW­28
    who recorded the alleged confession, had not scrupulously followed
    the guidelines laid by this Court in Kartar Singh v. State of
    Punjab1
    . The confession had not been recorded in a free
    atmosphere. The prescribed procedure under the TADA Act and the
    rules made thereunder had not been followed while recording the
    confession. It was also submitted that the confession was not
    admissible in evidence as it was not voluntary. In this connection,
    he has taken us through the oral evidence of the parties. It was
    further submitted that the accused had retracted the confession
    subsequently. Therefore, even if the confession is admissible, it is a
    weak piece of evidence and the same cannot be the sole evidence for
    conviction in the absence of corroboration from independent
    sources. It was also submitted that the confession of the coaccused (Ex. P­26 and P­27) are not admissible in evidence because
    there was no joint trial of those two accused with the appellant. The
    1 1994 (3) SCC 569
    8
    confession of the co­accused is not substantive piece of evidence.
    The proviso to Section 15(1) of the TADA Act, introduced by
    amending the said section in the year 1993 which, in fact,
    supplements Section 30 of the Evidence Act, mandates that there
    should be a joint trial. Therefore, he submits that the conviction of
    the appellant by the Designated Court is unsustainable in law.
  11. On the other hand, Shri Jayant Muth Raj, learned Additional
    Advocate General, appearing for the respondent­State, has
    supported the impugned judgment of the Designated Court.
  12. We have carefully considered the submissions of the learned
    senior counsel made at the Bar and perused the materials placed
    on record.
  13. The Designated Court has convicted the appellant on the basis
    of the confession of the appellant made on 27.02.2007 (Ex. P­57)
    and the confession statement of the two other co­accused (Ex. P­26
    and P­27).
  14. Therefore, the first question for consideration is whether the
    appellant has made the confession (Ex. P­57) voluntarily and
    truthfully.
    9
  15. The law of confession is embodied in Sections 24 to 30 of the
    Indian Evidence Act, 1872. The confession is a form of admission
    consisting of direct acknowledgment of guilt in a criminal charge. In
    this connection, it is relevant to notice the observations of Privy
    Council in Pakala Narayana Swami v. Emperor2 which is as under:
    “…..a confession must either admit in terms of an
    offence, or at any rate substantially all the fact which
    constitute the offence. An admission of a gravely
    incriminating fact, even a conclusively incriminating
    fact is not by itself a confession….”
  16. It is well­settled that a confession which is not free from doubt
    about its voluntariness, is not admissible in evidence. A confession
    caused by inducement, threat or promise cannot be termed as
    voluntary confession. Whether a confession is voluntary or not is
    essentially a question of fact. In State (NCT of Delhi) v. Navjot
    Sandhu3
    this Court has elaborately considered this aspect as
    under:
    “29. Confessions are considered highly reliable
    because no rational person would make admission
    against his interest unless prompted by his
    2 1939 PC 47
    3
    (2005) 11 SCC 600
    10
    conscience to tell the truth. “Deliberate and voluntary
    confessions of guilt, if clearly proved are among the
    most effectual proofs in law.” (Vide Taylor’s Treatise
    on the Law of Evidence, Vol. I.) However, before acting
    upon a confession the court must be satisfied that it
    was freely and voluntarily made. A confession by
    hope or promise of advantage, reward or immunity or
    by force or by fear induced by violence or threats of
    violence cannot constitute evidence against the
    maker of the confession. The confession should have
    been made with full knowledge of the nature and
    consequences of the confession. If any reasonable
    doubt is entertained by the court that these
    ingredients are not satisfied, the court should eschew
    the confession from consideration. So also the
    authority recording the confession, be it a Magistrate
    or some other statutory functionary at the pre­trial
    stage, must address himself to the issue whether the
    accused has come forward to make the confession in
    an atmosphere free from fear, duress or hope of some
    advantage or reward induced by the persons in
    authority. Recognising the stark reality of the
    accused being enveloped in a state of fear and panic,
    anxiety and despair while in police custody, the
    Evidence Act has excluded the admissibility of a
    confession made to the police officer.”
  17. Section 15(1) of the TADA Act is a self­contained scheme for
    recording the confession of an accused charged with an offence
    under the said Act. This provision of law is a departure from the
    provisions of Sections 25 to 30 of the Evidence Act. Section 15 of
    the TADA Act operates independently of the Evidence Act and the
    11
    Criminal Procedure Code. In Kartar Singh (supra) a Constitution
    Bench of this Court while upholding the validity of the said
    provision has issued certain guidelines to be followed while
    recording confession. These guidelines have been issued to ensure
    that the confession obtained in the pre­indictment interrogation by
    a police officer not lower in rank than a Superintendent of Police is
    not tainted with any vice but is in strict conformity with the wellrecognised and accepted aesthetic principles and fundamental
    fairness. These guidelines are:
    “(1) The confession should be recorded in a free
    atmosphere in the same language in which the
    person is examined and as narrated by him;
    (2) The person from whom a confession has been
    recorded under Section 15(1) of the Act, should be
    produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or
    the Chief Judicial Magistrate to whom the confession
    is required to be sent under Rule 15(5) along with the
    original statement of confession, written or recorded
    on mechanical device without unreasonable delay;
    (3) The Chief Metropolitan Magistrate or the Chief
    Judicial Magistrate should scrupulously record the
    statement, if any, made by the accused so produced
    and get his signature and in case of any complaint of
    torture, the person should be directed to be produced
    for medical examination before a Medical Officer not
    lower in rank than of an Assistant Civil Surgeon;
    12
    (4) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code
    of Criminal Procedure, 1973, no police officer below
    the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police in
    the Metropolitan cities and elsewhere of a Deputy
    Superintendent of Police or a police officer of
    equivalent rank, should investigate any offence
    punishable under this Act of 1987.
    This is necessary in view of the drastic provisions
    of this Act. More so when the Prevention of
    Corruption Act, 1988 under Section 17 and the
    Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956 under Section
    13, authorise only a police officer of a specified rank
    to investigate the offences under those specified Acts.
    (5) The police officer if he is seeking the custody of
    any person for pre­indictment or pre­trial
    interrogation from the judicial custody, must file an
    affidavit sworn by him explaining the reason not only
    for such custody but also for the delay, if any, in
    seeking the police custody;
    (6) In case, the person, taken for interrogation, on
    receipt of the statutory warning that he is not bound
    to make a confession and that if he does so, the said
    statement may be used against him as evidence,
    asserts his right to silence, the police officer must
    respect his right of assertion without making any
    compulsion to give a statement of disclosure.”
  18. In Jameel Ahmad v. State of Rajasthan4
    this Court has held
    that when an accused charged with an offence under the provisions
    of the TADA Act, is voluntarily willing to make a confessional
    4
    (2003) 9 SCC 673
    13
    statement and if such statement is made and recorded by an officer
    not below the rank of Superintendent of Police in a manner
    provided in that section, is admissible in evidence. The findings
    recorded in this case are as under:
    “35. To sum up our findings in regard to the legal
    arguments addressed in these appeals, we find:
    (i) If the confessional statement is properly recorded,
    satisfying the mandatory provision of Section 15 of
    the TADA Act and the Rules made thereunder, and if
    the same is found by the court as having been made
    voluntarily and truthfully then the said confession is
    sufficient to base a conviction on the maker of the
    confession.
    (ii) Whether such confession requires corroboration
    or not, is a matter for the court considering such
    confession on facts of each case.
    (iii) In regard to the use of such confession as against
    a co­accused, it has to be held that as a matter of
    caution, a general corroboration should be sought for
    but in cases where the court is satisfied that the
    probative value of such confession is such that it
    does not require corroboration then it may base a
    conviction on the basis of such confession of the coaccused without corroboration. But this is an
    exception to the general rule of requiring
    corroboration when such confession is to be used
    against a co­accused.
    14
    (iv) The nature of corroboration required both in
    regard to the use of confession against the maker as
    also in regard to the use of the same against a coaccused is of a general nature, unless the court
    comes to the conclusion that such corroboration
    should be on material facts also because of the facts
    of a particular case. The degree of corroboration so
    required is that which is necessary for a prudent
    man to believe in the existence of facts mentioned in
    the confessional statement.
    (v) The requirement of sub­rule (5) of Rule 15 of the
    TADA Rules which contemplates a confessional
    statement being sent to the Chief Metropolitan
    Magistrate or the Chief Judicial Magistrate who, in
    turn, will have to send the same to the Designated
    Court is not mandatory and is only directory.
    However, the court considering the case of direct
    transmission of the confessional statement to the
    Designated Court should satisfy itself on facts of
    each case whether such direct transmission of the
    confessional statement in the facts of the case
    creates any doubt as to the genuineness of the said
    confessional statement.”
  19. Bearing these principles in mind, let us consider as to whether
    the confession of the appellant was voluntary and truthful. The
    appellant was examined as DW­1. In his evidence he has stated
    that he was arrested on 19.05.2007, when he was returning from
    Chennai airport. He was detained for two days and was taken to
    Trichi, “Q” branch office and was kept there for one day. During
    15
    this period, he was allegedly tortured by the police. On 22.05.2007
    he was produced before the Judicial Magistrate, Trichi, and was
    remanded by the court till 25.07.2007. PW­27 made an application
    requesting for police custody of the accused for five days and
    obtained police custody from 25.07.2007 to 27.07.2007. On
    25.07.2007, when the appellant was sitting in the police vehicle,
    Mr. Rajendran, ‘Q’ Branch Inspector, told him that he should sign
    certain papers, otherwise he would be killed in police custody.
    When he was brought before the Designated Court, on the same
    day, he informed the same to the learned Judge and gave a petition
    (Ex. D­1) stating that he was tortured by the police and that he had
    nothing to do with the alleged incident. When he was again
    produced before the Designated Court, after recording the
    confession statement, he gave a petition (Ex. D­2) stating that he
    has not made any incriminating statement before PW­28.
  20. On 26.07.2007, PW­29 produced the appellant before PW­28.
    PW­28 during his cross­examination has stated that until the
    accused was produced on 26.07.2007, the accused was in police
    custody. On 26.07.2007, though it has been recorded that a
    16
    number of questions were put to the accused and the answers were
    elicited, there is no record to show that the appellant­accused was
    warned as required under Section 15 of the TADA Act and Rule
    15(3) of the TADA Rules. During his cross­examination PW­28 has
    stated that he gave warning to the accused which was not
    supported by any contemporary record, namely, Ex. P­56 dated
    26.06.2007. As it is seen in Ex. P­57, only two questions were
    asked to the appellant and answers elicited, which do not reflect
    any warning as required under the TADA Act and the TADA Rules.
    The evidence of PW­28 is that he gave the same warning which he
    had given on 26.07.2007. There are no contemporary records to
    show that the warning was made on 26.07.2007 or 27.07.2007. The
    second question asked on 27.07.2007 (per Ex. P­57) assumes much
    importance. In this question PW­28 has only explained to the
    accused that he had been produced only to record his statement.
    He did not explain to the accused that he had been produced to
    record the confession.
  21. It was contended by the learned Additional Advocate General,
    appearing for the respondent, that the footnote appended to Ex. P­
    17
    56 would satisfy Section 15 of TADA Act and Rule 15 of TADA
    Rules. It is necessary to notice here that complying with these rules
    is not an empty formality or a mere technicality as these provisions
    serve a statutory purpose to ensure a fair trial as guaranteed under
    Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The entire proceedings on
    record should reflect application of mind into various surrounding
    circumstances including questions and answers elicited from the
    accused. Mere recording in a certificate will only amount to
    technical observance of the rule but that will not prove the
    voluntariness of the statement. In law, it is not the technical
    observance of the rules but it is the real satisfaction about the
    voluntariness of the confession is sine qua non.
  22. It is also necessary to state here that the confession recorded
    by the police officer is undoubtedly equated to a confession
    recorded by a Judicial Magistrate under Section 164 Cr.P.C. Thus,
    the said confession is a substantive piece of evidence. Therefore, all
    the safeguards which are to be followed by a Magistrate should
    have been followed by the police officer also. It is well­settled that
    the satisfaction arrived at by the Magistrate under Section 164
    18
    Cr.P.C. is, if doubtful, then, the entire confession should be
    rejected.
  23. In the instant case, it is evident that from out of the questions
    put by PW­28 and the answers elicited and the manner in which
    the accused has made the statement are all the foundations upon
    which it is to be found out as to whether the statement was made
    voluntarily or not. If the certificate is not supported by any of the
    above inputs, then the certificate needs to be rejected. The police
    officer cannot record such a certificate out of his own imagination
    and the entire proceedings should reflect that the certificate was
    rightly given based on the materials. In the present case, there is
    nothing on record to prove the voluntariness of the statement. Ex.
    D­1 and D­2 and other circumstances would go to show that the
    appellant could not have made the statement voluntarily. Therefore,
    the confession statement of the appellant requires to be rejected.
  24. The second question for consideration is whether the
    statement of two other co­accused (Ex. P­26 and P­27) is admissible
    in evidence.
    19
  25. The confession statement of the co­accused was recorded by
    the Superintendent of Police (PW­20) in Crime No.160/1990. The
    appellant was absconding, hence the proclamation order was issued
    by the trial court and thereafter the case was split against the
    appellant. A separate trial was conducted against the appellant and
    the impugned judgment convicting the appellant­accused has been
    passed by the Designated Court.
  26. The contention of the learned Additional Advocate General,
    appearing for the appellant, is that the appellant cannot take the
    advantage of his own wrong to thwart the object and purpose of
    Section 15 of the TADA Act.
  27. Learned senior counsel appearing for the appellant has
    submitted that the confession statements of the two co­accused are
    not at all admissible in evidence because there was no joint trial of
    those two co­accused with the appellant. Therefore, Ex. P­26 and
    Ex. P­27 are not admissible in evidence.
  28. Section 30 of the Indian Evidence Act mandates that to make
    the confession of a co­accused admissible in evidence, there has to
    be a joint trial. If there is no joint trial, the confession of a co­
    20
    accused is not at all admissible in evidence and, therefore, the same
    cannot be taken as evidence against the other co­accused. The
    Constitution Bench of this Court in Kartar Singh (supra), while
    considering the inter­play between Section 30 of the Indian
    Evidence Act and Section 15 of the TADA Act held that as per
    Section 15 of the TADA Act, after the amendment of the year 1993,
    the confession of the co­accused, is also a substantive piece of
    evidence provided that there is a joint trial.
  29. In State v. Nalini and others5 Justice Quadri has held that a
    confession of an accused made under Section 15 of the TADA Act is
    admissible against all those tried jointly with him. It has been held
    thus:
    “688. Having excluded the application of Sections 24
    to 30 of the Evidence Act to a confession recorded
    under Section 15(1) of the TADA Act, a self­contained
    scheme is incorporated therein for recording the
    confession of an accused and its admissibility in his
    trial with co­accused, abettor or conspirator for
    offences under the TADA Act or the Rules made
    thereunder or any other offence under any other law
    which can jointly be tried with the offence with which
    he is charged at the same trial. There is thus no
    room to import the requirements of Section 30 of the
    Evidence Act in Section 15 of the TADA Act.
    5
    (1999) 5 SCC 253
    21
  30. Under Section 15(1) of the TADA Act the
    position, in my view, is much stronger, for it says,

    “a confession made by a person before a police
    officer not lower in rank than a Superintendent
    of Police and recorded by such police officer
    either in writing or on any mechanical device like
    cassettes, tapes or soundtracks from out of
    which sounds or images can be reproduced, shall
    be admissible in the trial of such person or coaccused, abettor or conspirator for an offence
    under this Act or Rules made thereunder,
    provided that co­accused, abettor or conspirator
    is charged and tried in the same case together
    with the accused.”
    On the language of sub­section (1) of Section 15, a
    confession of an accused is made admissible
    evidence as against all those tried jointly with him, so
    it is implicit that the same can be considered against
    all those tried together. In this view of the matter
    also, Section 30 of the Evidence Act need not be
    invoked for consideration of confession of an accused
    against a co­accused, abettor or conspirator charged
    and tried in the same case along with the accused.”
  31. In Jameel Ahmad (supra), this Court has reiterated the above
    position as under:
    “30……Therefore we notice that the accepted
    principle in law is that a confessional statement of an
    accused recorded under Section 15 of the TADA Act
    is a substantive piece of evidence even against his co­
    22
    accused provided the accused concerned are tried
    together.”
  32. In the instant case, no doubt, the appellant was absconding.
    That is why, joint trial of the appellant with the other two accused
    persons could not be held. As noticed above, Section 15 of the
    TADA Act specifically provides that the confession recorded shall be
    admissible in trial of a co­accused for offence committed and tried
    in the same case together with the accused who makes the
    confession. We are of the view, that if for any reason, a joint trial is
    not held, the confession of a co­accused cannot be held to be
    admissible in evidence against another accused who would face
    trial at a later point of time in the same case. We are of the further
    opinion that if we are to accept the argument of the learned counsel
    for the respondent­State, it is as good as re­writing the scope of
    Section 15 of the TADA Act as amended in the year 1993.
  33. In Ananta Dixit v. The State6
    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
    6 1984 Crl. L.J. 1126
    23
    persons who was tried earlier, is admissible in evidence against the
    appellant. The Court held that the confession of the co­accused was
    not admissible in evidence against the present appellant. The Court
    held:
    “7. 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 coaccused person Baina Das. A confession of the
    accused may be admissible and used not only
    against him but also against a co­accused person
    tried jointly with him for the same offence. Section
    30 applies to a case in which the confession is made
    by accused tried 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 co­accused
    person, the confession of Narendra Behera was not to
    be admitted under Section 30 of the Evidence Act
    against the present appellant and the co­accused
    Baina Das.”
    We are in complete agreement with the view of the High Court.
  34. We are of the view that since the trial of the other two accused
    persons was separate, their confession statements (Ex.P­26 and
    P­27) are not admissible in evidence and the same cannot be taken
    as evidence against the appellant.
    24
  35. In view of the discussion made above, the Designated Court
    was not justified in convicting the appellant. The appeal is
    accordingly allowed. The judgment and order dated 4.12.2009
    passed by the Presiding Judge, Designated Court No.2, Chennai, in
    Calendar Case No.1/2007, is hereby set aside and the appellantaccused is acquitted for the offence for which he was tried. This
    Court by order dated 25.19.2010 had granted the bail to the
    appellant. Hence, the question of releasing him does not arise. The
    bail bond executed by the appellant and the surety, if any, stands
    cancelled.
    …………………………………………J.
    (S. ABDUL NAZEER) …………………………………………J.
    (DEEPAK GUPTA)
    New Delhi;
    April 1, 2020.