The weight to be attached to such confession must depend on the circumstances under which the confession was originally made and the circumstances under which it was retracted. As against the maker of the confession the retracted confession may form the basis of his conviction if it is believed to be true and voluntarily made.
There is no rule of law that a retracted confession must be supported by independent reliable evidence corroborating it in material particulars. The use to be made of such evidence is a matter of prudence rather than of law. In certain cases, however, it has been held that a retracted confession is inadmissible and cannot be given any weight, unless it is well corroborated in material particulars by reliable evidence or unless the court comes to the conclusion that the statement as a whole is a truthful statement. It is, however, a settled rule of law that a retracted confession, even though uncorroborated by other evidence to support the confession, is good evidence against the accused person making it, i.e., maker of the confession and form the basis of his conviction if it is believed to be true and voluntarily made. A retracted confession is, however, inadmissible in evidence even against its maker where the Magistrate in recording the confession has violated the mandatory provisions of Section 164.
(ii) Against a co-accused:
Retracted confession can be used against a co-accused only if it is corroborated in material particulars. The corroboration should not only confirm the general story of the alleged crime but must also connect the co-accused with it.