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Sec 18, Persons whose admissions are relevant
Admission by party to proceeding or his agent by suit or in representative character, by party interested in subject matter, by person from whom interest derived.
The section 18 dealing with the persons whose admissions are relevant, provides that admission can be made by the following persons.
- Parties to the suit or proceeding.
- Agents of the parties expressly or impliedly authorised.
- Parties to the suit suing or being sued in a representative character.
- Persons having any proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject matter of the proceedings.
- Person from whom parties to the suit or proceeding derived their interest in the subject matter of the suit.
- Parties to the suit/Proceeding
Admission is the best evidence only against the party who has made it. “Parties” include not only those who appear on the record in that capacity, but also persons who are interested in the subject matter of the suit are considered as parties in interest and accordingly their admissions have the same weight as though they were parties on record. Conversely, a party on record who has no beneficial interest in the issues of the litigation will not be permitte4d to effect by his admission the substantive right of one for whom he is acting. In other words, in all these relations, substantive interest rather than form of record is regarded as determining factor. For Example, in a suit brought by a guardian for a minor the statement of the guardian will not be an admission against minor. Where there are several persons jointly interested in a suit, the rule is that admissions of anny one of them are receivable against himself and his fellows, whether jointly suing or sued or whether an action is brought in favour of or against any one of them separately. Reason being that if it were allowed, the plantiff might make one of his friends a defendant and thus may gain an unfair advantage.
- Agents of the parties
Three things are to be kept in mind before receiving an agent’s statements. Firstly, that the factum of agency must be proved before the admissions of agents can be received. Secondly, the agent should have either an express or implied authority to make the statement in question. And lastly, statements of agents must be made during the continuance of agency. By termination of agency, his authority to make admissions ceases.
- Parties to the suits suing or being sued in a representative character
a. Admission by legal Counsel: A legal counsel has implied authority to make an admission on behalf of his client. Such an admission made by him shall be binding on his client whom he represents, only on matters of fact.
A statement of admission made by a legal Counsel, although he makes it without Consulting his client, is binding on the client, provided it is related to the subject matter of the suit and made under a misapprehension.
However, admission made by counsel on matter of law or on an issue of mixed question of law and facts are not binding on the party who he represents.
b. Admission by Agent: Admission made by an agent in the Course of business and within the scope of his employment shall be binding on the principal on the principle of vicarious liability. This is also in accordance with the maxim: “Qui Per Alium Facit Seipsum Fecere Videtur” (He who does an act through another is deemed in law to do it himself)
c. Admission by wife or husband: Admission made by the wife or husband shall not be binding on the other spouse unless the statement of admission is made by one spouse deriving interest in the property of the other spouse. However, admission made either by the wife or husband can be taken into consideration against the husband or wife as the case may be provided such statements of admissions are expressly or implicitly authorized.
d. Statements in a representative character:
A statement of admission made by a person suing or being sued in a representative character, shall be admission provided such statements were made while the party making them held that representative character.
Statement made by a person in representative character is relevant in a suit, if it was made during a time that he hold such character. Statement made by a person occupying the character or made in his personal capacity are not admissible.
- Persons having pecuniary or Proprietary Interest in the Subject Matter- Sec 18 (1)
The statement of person who, though not parties on record, have monetary or proprietary interest in the subject matter are relevant. But statements should be made in the chapter of their interest, for instance, the auction purchaser of the property has interest in the dispute of the property. Similarly, when certain goods were consigned for carriage, then consigner as well as consignee have interest in the goods. In a case certain goods are consigned for carriage, the consignor as well as consignee have an interest in the goods, so that if the goods are lost and the consignee sues the carrier, a statement by the consignor that the goods were properly stored shall be receivable against the consignee also.
- Persons from whom parties derive their interest- Section 18 (2)
The statement of persons from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject matter of the suit, are admissible. Such a person is called as “Predecessor in Title”. But, it is essential that the statement must have been made by the predecessor in title during the continuance of his interest in the subject matter, that is, while he was vested with the title. Predecessor in title may be:-
- By blood: An heir, an ancestor, or coparcenary
- By Law: An executor, testator, an administrator, receiver, trustee etc.
- By Voluntary Act: Lessor and lessee, doner and donee, seller and buyer, mortgager and mortgagee and so on.