Prosecution Must Prove Exclusive Knowledge for Accused Statements to Be Used in Fact Discovery Under Section 27 Evidence Act: Supreme Court


This article examines the legal implications of convicting an accused based on statements made under Section 27 of the Evidence Act, with specific reference to the Supreme Court case titled Ravishankar Tandon Vs. State of Chhattisgarh. The case pertains to the discovery of a dead body, where the accused’s statement led to its recovery. However, the prosecution failed to establish that the discovery was unknown to anyone prior to the accused’s statement. This article delves into the court’s analysis and the consequent acquittal of the accused.



Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, holds significance in criminal proceedings as it allows for the admissibility of statements made by accused persons leading to the discovery of facts. However, the Supreme Court’s interpretation of this provision, as illustrated in Ravishankar Tandon v. State of Chhattisgarh, imposes a crucial condition on such admissibility—the prosecution must prove that the discovery was previously unknown.


Case Analysis:

In Ravishankar Tandon Vs. State of Chhattisgarh, the accused was convicted by the trial court and the High Court based on statements made under Section 27, leading to the discovery of a dead body. However, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction due to the prosecution’s failure to establish that the discovery was unknown prior to the accused’s statement. The court emphasized that the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the information disclosed by the accused was not already known to others.


Court’s Observations:

The bench, comprising Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta, noted that the prosecution failed to meet the burden of proving that nobody had prior knowledge of the discovered evidence. Citing the testimonies of witnesses, the court found that both the police and certain individuals were aware of the dead body’s existence before the accused’s statement under Section 27. Consequently, the court acquitted the accused, emphasizing the importance of establishing the uniqueness of the information disclosed by the accused.



Ravishankar Tandon Vs. State of Chhattisgarh underscores the stringent requirement imposed by the Supreme Court regarding the admissibility of evidence under Section 27 of the Evidence Act. Prosecutions relying on statements made by accused persons for discovery must meticulously establish that the disclosed information was not previously known. Failure to meet this burden may lead to an acquittal, as evidenced by the aforementioned case.

By meticulously analyzing the court’s observations and its implications, this article provides insights into the legal intricacies surrounding convictions based on evidence obtained under Section 27 of the Evidence Act, thus contributing to a nuanced understanding of criminal jurisprudence.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The content may not reflect the most current legal developments and is not guaranteed to be accurate, complete, or up-to-date. Readers should consult a qualified legal professional before taking any action based on the information provided. The authors and publishers disclaim any liability for any loss or damage incurred as a result of reliance on this article. This article does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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