Section 24 of the Evidence Act reads as follows:-
“24. Confession caused by inducement, threat or promise, when irrelevant in criminal proceeding. – A confession made by an accused person is irrelevant in a criminal proceeding, if the making of the confession appears to the Court to have been caused by any inducement, threat or promise, having reference to the charge against the accused person, proceeding from a person in authority and sufficient, in the opinion of the Court, to give the accused person grounds, which would appear to him reasonable, for supposing that by making it he would gain any advantage or avoid any evil of a temporal nature in reference to the proceedings against him.”
Section 25 says as follows:-
“25. Confession to police officer not to be proved. – No confession made to a police officer, shall be proved as against a person accused of any offence.”
Section 26 reads as follows:-
“26. Confession by accused while in custody of police not to be proved against him. – No confession made by any person whilst he is in the custody of a police officer, unless it be made in the immediate presence of a Magistrate, shall be proved as against such person.”
Section 27 reads as follows:-
“27. How much of information received from accused may be proved. – Provided that, when any fact is deposed to as discovered in consequence of information received from a person accused of any offence, in the custody of a police officer, so much of such information, whether it amounts to a confession or not, as relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered, may be proved.”
Thus, on a reading of the above sections of the Evidence Act, it can be seen that Section 24 of the Evidence Act deals about the situation when the confession caused by inducement, threat or promise is irrelevant in a criminal proceedings.
Similarly, under Section 25 of the Evidence Act, the confession made by a person to a Police Officer, shall not be proved against such person accused of any offence.
But, on a reading of Section 26 of the Evidence Act, it can be seen that even if an accused, while in the custody of a Police Officer, makes a confession, the same can be proved as against him if such a confession was made in the immediate presence of the Magistrate.
So Sections 24 to 26 of the Act deal with confession. It is now a settled position of law that Section 27 is an exception to Sections 24, 25 and 26.
On a close reading of Section 27 of the Evidence Act, it can be seen that what made exempted or excepted is an information, whether the same is in the nature of confession or not, on condition that on the basis of such information, if any fact is deposed to as, discovered in consequence of the information received from a person accused of any offence, even if he is in the custody of the Police Officer and the same relates distinctly to the fact thereby discovered can be proved against such accused.
On a scrutiny of the provisions of Sections 24 to 27, it can be seen that nowhere particularly in any of these sections, no distinction is drawn by the legislature with respect to the confession or information, as the case may be made or furnished, before or after the arrest. So the prohibition clause envisaged by Sections 24, 25 and 26 is applicable irrespective of the fact whether the accused is arrested or not.
Therefore, the exception under Section 27 is applicable and the information or confession saved is irrespective of the fact whether the person furnished or made the same, accused of any offence is arrested or not.