Admissions and confessions
—(1) An admission is a statement, oral or documentary, which suggests any inference as to any fact in issue or relevant fact, and which is made by any of the persons and under the circumstances hereinafter mentioned.
(2) A confession is an admission made at any time by a person accused of an offence, stating or suggesting the inference that he committed that offence.
—(1) Statements made by a party to the proceeding or by an agent to any such party whom the court regards under the circumstances of the case as expressly or impliedly authorised by him to make them are admissions.
(2) Statements made by parties to suits, suing or sued in a representative character, are not admissions unless they were made while the party making them held that character.
(3) Statements made by —
persons who have any proprietary or pecuniary interest in the subject-matter of the proceeding, and who make the statement in their character of persons so interested; or
persons from whom the parties to the suit have derived their interest in the subject-matter of the suit,
are admissions if they are made during the continuance of the interest of the persons making the statements.
19. Statements made by persons whose position or liability it is necessary to prove as against any party to the suit are admissions if the statements would be relevant as against the persons in relation to the position or liability in a suit brought by or against them, and if they are made whilst the person making them occupies the position or is subject to the liability.
A undertakes to collect rents for B.
B sues A for not collecting rent due from C to B.
A denies that rent was due from C to B.
A statement by C that he owed B rent is an admission and is a relevant fact, as against A, if A denies that C did owe rent to B.
20. Statements made by persons to whom a party to the suit has expressly referred for information in reference to a matter in dispute are admissions.
The question is whether a horse sold by A to B is sound.
A says to B: “Go and ask C, C knows all about it”. C’s statement is an admission.
21. Admissions are relevant and may be proved as against the person who makes them or his representative in interest; but they cannot be proved by or on behalf of the person who makes them or by his representative in interest except in the following cases:
an admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it when it is of such a nature that, if the person making it were dead, it would be relevant as between third persons under section 32;
an admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it when it consists of a statement of the existence of any state of mind or body relevant or in issue, made at or about the time when such state of mind or body existed and is accompanied by conduct rendering its falsehood improbable; and
an admission may be proved by or on behalf of the person making it if it is relevant otherwise than as an admission.
The question between A and B is whether a certain deed is or is not forged. A affirms that it is genuine; B that it is forged.
A may prove a statement by B that the deed is genuine, and B may prove a statement by A that the deed is forged; but A cannot prove a statement by himself that the deed is genuine, nor can B prove a statement by himself that the deed is forged.
A, the captain of a ship, is tried for casting her away.
Evidence is given to show that the ship was taken out of her proper course.
A produces a book kept by him in the ordinary course of his business, showing observations alleged to have been taken by him from day to day, and indicating that the ship was not taken out of her proper course. A may prove these statements because they would be admissible between third parties if he were dead under section 32(1)(b).
A is accused of a crime committed by him at Singapore. He produces a letter written by himself and dated at Penang on that day, and bearing the Penang postmark of that day.
The statement in the date of the letter is admissible, because if A were dead it would be admissible under section 32(1)(b).
A is accused of receiving stolen goods, knowing them to be stolen.
He offers to prove that he refused to sell them below their value.
A may prove these statements though they are admissions, because they are explanatory of conduct influenced by facts in issue.
A is accused of fraudulently having in his possession counterfeit coin which he knew to be counterfeit.
He offers to prove that he asked a skilful person to examine the coin as he doubted whether it was counterfeit or not, and that that person did examine it and told him it was genuine.
A may prove these facts for the reasons stated in illustration (d).
22. Oral admissions as to the contents of a document are not relevant unless the party proposing to prove them shows that he is entitled to give secondary evidence of the contents of the document under the rules contained in this Act, or unless the genuineness of a document produced is in question.
—(1) In civil cases, no admission is relevant if it is made —
upon an express condition that evidence of it is not to be given; or
upon circumstances from which the court can infer that the parties agreed together that evidence of it should not be given.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be taken —
to exempt any advocate or solicitor from giving evidence of any matter of which he may be compelled to give evidence under section 128; or
to exempt any legal counsel in an entity from giving evidence of any matter of which he may be compelled to give evidence under section 128A.
24. [Repealed by Act 15/2010 wef 02/01/2011]
25. [Repealed by Act 15/2010 wef 02/01/2011]
26. [Repealed by Act 15/2010 wef 02/01/2011]
27. [Repealed by Act 15/2010 wef 02/01/2011]
28. [Repealed by Act 15/2010 wef 02/01/2011]
29. [Repealed by Act 15/2010 wef 02/01/2011]
30. [Repealed by Act 15/2010 wef 02/01/2011]
31. Admissions are not conclusive proof of the matters admitted, but they may operate as estoppels under the provisions in this Act.
Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found, etc., is relevant
—(1) Subject to subsections (2) and (3), statements of relevant facts made by a person (whether orally, in a document or otherwise), are themselves relevant facts in the following cases:
when it relates to cause of death;
when the statement is made by a person as to the cause of his death, or as to any of the circumstances of the transaction which resulted in his death, in cases in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question; such statements are relevant whether the person who made them was or was not at the time when they were made under expectation of death, and whatever may be the nature of the proceeding in which the cause of his death comes into question;
or is made in course of trade, business, profession or other occupation;
when the statement was made by a person in the ordinary course of a trade, business, profession or other occupation and in particular when it consists of —
any entry or memorandum in books kept in the ordinary course of a trade, business, profession or other occupation or in the discharge of professional duty;
an acknowledgment (whether written or signed) for the receipt of money, goods, securities or property of any kind;
any information in market quotations, tabulations, lists, directories or other compilations generally used and relied upon by the public or by persons in particular occupations; or
a document constituting, or forming part of, the records (whether past or present) of a trade, business, profession or other occupation that are recorded, owned or kept by any person, body or organisation carrying out the trade, business, profession or other occupation,
and includes a statement made in a document that is, or forms part of, a record compiled by a person acting in the ordinary course of a trade, business, profession or other occupation based on information supplied by other persons;
or against interest of maker;
when the statement is against the pecuniary or proprietary interest of the person making it, or when, if true, it would expose him or would have exposed him to a criminal prosecution or to a suit for damages;
or gives opinion as to public right or custom or matters of general interest;
when the statement gives the opinion of any such person as to the existence of any public right or custom or matter of public or general interest, of the existence of which if it existed he would have been likely to be aware, and when such statement was made before any controversy as to such right, custom or matter had arisen;
or relates to existence of relationship;
when the statement relates to the existence of any relationship by blood, marriage or adoption between persons as to whose relationship by blood, marriage or adoption the person making the statement had special means of knowledge, and when the statement was made before the question in dispute was raised;
or is made in will or deed relating to family affairs;
when the statement relates to the existence of any relationship by blood, marriage or adoption between persons deceased, and is made in any will or deed relating to the affairs of the family to which any such deceased person belonged, or in any family pedigree or upon any tombstone, family portrait or other thing on which such statements are usually made, and when such statement was made before the question in dispute was raised;
or in document relating to transaction mentioned in section 13(a);
when the statement is contained in any deed or other document which relates to any such transaction as is mentioned in section 13(a);
or is made by several persons and expresses feelings relevant to matter in question
when the statement was made by a number of persons and expressed feelings or impressions on their part relevant to the matter in question;
or is made by person who is compellable but refuses to give evidence;
when the statement was made by a person who, being compellable to give evidence on behalf of the party desiring to give the statement in evidence, attends or is brought before the court, but refuses to be sworn or affirmed, or is sworn or affirmed but refuses to give any evidence;
or is made by person who is dead or who cannot be produced as witness;
when the statement is made by a person in respect of whom it is shown —
is dead or unfit because of his bodily or mental condition to attend as a witness;
that despite reasonable efforts to locate him, he cannot be found whether within or outside Singapore;
that he is outside Singapore and it is not practicable to secure his attendance; or
that, being competent but not compellable to give evidence on behalf of the party desiring to give the statement in evidence, he refuses to do so;
or by agreement.
when the parties to the proceedings agree that for the purpose of those proceedings the statement may be given in evidence.
The question is whether A was murdered by B.
A dies of injuries received in a transaction in the course of which she was ravished.
The question is whether she was ravished by B; or
The question is whether A was killed by B under such circumstances that a suit would lie against B by A’s widow.
Statements made by A as to the cause of his or her death, referring respectively to the murder, the rape and the actionable wrong under consideration, are relevant facts.
The question is as to the date of A’s birth.
An entry in the diary of a deceased surgeon regularly kept in the course of business, stating that on a given day he attended A’s mother and delivered her of a son, is a relevant fact.
The question is whether A was in Singapore on a given day.
A statement in the diary of a deceased solicitor regularly kept in the course of business that on a given day the solicitor attended A at a place mentioned in Singapore for the purpose of conferring with him upon specified business is a relevant fact.
The question is whether a ship sailed from Singapore harbour on a given day.
A letter written by a deceased member of a merchant’s firm by which she was chartered to their correspondents in London, to whom the cargo was consigned, stating that the ship sailed on a given day from Singapore harbour is a relevant fact.
The question is whether rent was paid to A for certain land.
A letter from A’s deceased agent to B, saying that he had received the rent on A’s account and held it at A’s orders, is a relevant fact.
The question is whether A and B were legally married.
The statement of a deceased clergyman that he married them under such circumstances that the celebration would be a crime is relevant.
The question is whether A, a person who cannot be found, wrote a letter on a certain day.
The fact that a letter written by him is dated on that day is relevant.
The question is, what was the cause of the wreck of a ship?
A protest made by the captain, whose attendance cannot be procured, is a relevant fact.
The question is, what was the price of shares on a certain day in a particular market?
A statement of the price made by a deceased broker in the ordinary course of his business is a relevant fact.
The question is whether A, who is dead, was the father of B.
A statement by A that B was his son is a relevant fact.
The question is, what was the date of the birth of A?
A letter from A’s deceased father to a friend, announcing the birth of A on a given day, is a relevant fact.
The question is whether and when A and B were married.
An entry in a memorandum-book by C, the deceased father of B, of his daughter’s marriage with A on a given date, is a relevant fact.
A sues B for a libel expressed in a printed caricature exposed in a shop-window. The question is as to the similarity of the caricature and its libellous character.
The remarks of a crowd of spectators on these points may be proved.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i) or (j) of subsection (1), where a person makes an oral statement to or in the hearing of another person who, at the request of the maker of the statement, puts it (or the substance of it) into writing at the time or reasonably soon afterwards, thereby producing a corresponding statement in a document, the statement in the document shall be treated for the purposes of those paragraphs as the statement of the maker of the oral statement.
(3) A statement which is otherwise relevant under subsection (1) shall not be relevant if the court is of the view that it would not be in the interests of justice to treat it as relevant.
(4) Except in the case of subsection (1)(k), evidence may not be given under subsection (1) on behalf of a party to the proceedings unless that party complies —
in the case of criminal proceedings, with such notice requirements and other conditions as may be prescribed by the Minister under section 428 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010 (Act 15 of 2010); and
in all other proceedings, with such notice requirements and other conditions as may be prescribed in Rules of Court (Cap. 322, R 5) made by the Rules Committee constituted under section 80 of the Supreme Court of Judicature Act (Cap. 322).
(5) Where a statement is admitted in evidence under subsection (1), the court shall assign such weight as it deems fit to the statement.
(6) Notwithstanding paragraph (k) of subsection (1), an agreement under that paragraph does not enable a statement to be given in evidence in criminal proceedings on the prosecution’s behalf unless at the time the agreement is made, the accused or any of the co-accused is represented by an advocate.
(7) Notwithstanding paragraph (k) of subsection (1), an agreement under that paragraph shall be of no effect for the purposes of any proceedings before the High Court or any proceedings arising out of proceedings before the High Court if made during proceedings before an examining Magistrate conducting a committal hearing under Division 2 of Part X of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010.
32A. For the purposes of section 32(1), a protest, greeting or other verbal utterance may be treated as stating any fact that the utterance implies.
—(1) Subject to this section, section 32 applies to statements of opinion as they apply to statements of fact.
(2) A statement of opinion shall only be admissible under section 32(1) if that statement would be admissible in those proceedings if made through direct oral evidence.
(3) Where a person is called as a witness in any proceedings, a statement of opinion by him on a relevant matter on which he is not qualified to give expert evidence, if made as a way of conveying relevant facts personally perceived by him, is admissible as evidence of what he perceived.
Admissibility of evidence as to credibility of maker, etc., of statement admitted under certain provisions
—(1) Where in any proceedings a statement made by a person who is not called as a witness in those proceedings is given in evidence by virtue of section 32(1) —
any evidence which, if that person had been so called, would be admissible for the purpose of undermining or supporting that person’s credibility as a witness, is admissible for that purpose in those proceedings; and
as regards any matter which, if that person had been so called, could have been put to him in cross-examination for the purpose of undermining his credibility as a witness, being a matter of which, if he had denied it, evidence could not have been adduced by the cross-examining party, evidence of that matter may with the leave of the court be given for that purpose.
(2) Where in any proceedings a statement made by a person who is not called as a witness in those proceedings is given in evidence by virtue of section 32(1), evidence tending to prove that, whether before or after he made that statement, he made another statement (orally, written or otherwise) inconsistent with the first-mentioned statement is admissible for the purpose of showing that he has contradicted himself.
(3) For the purposes of section 32(1)(b), subsections (1) and (2) apply in relation to both the maker of the statement and the person who originally supplied the information from which the statement was made.
(4) Section 32(2) applies for the purposes of this section as it applies for the purposes of section 32(1).
Relevancy of certain evidence for proving in subsequent proceeding the truth of facts therein stated
33. Evidence given by a witness in a judicial proceeding, or before any person authorised by law to take it, is relevant for the purpose of proving in a subsequent judicial proceeding, or in a later stage of the same judicial proceeding, the truth of the facts which it states, when the witness is dead or cannot be found or is incapable of giving evidence, or is kept out of the way by the adverse party, or if his presence cannot be obtained without an amount of delay or expense which under the circumstances of the case the court considers unreasonable subject to the following provisions:
the proceeding was between the same parties or their representatives in interest;
the adverse party in the first proceeding had the right and opportunity to cross-examine; and
the questions in issue were substantially the same in the first as in the second proceeding.
Explanation—A criminal trial or inquiry shall be deemed to be a proceeding between the prosecutor and the accused within the meaning of this section.