Dying declaration: India

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Dying declaration

The Times of India

Publication: Times Of India Delhi; Date: Mar 14, 2009; Section: Times Nation; Page: 11

SC: Deathbed declaration has its own sanctity

New Delhi: The dying declaration of a person should normally be relied upon by courts as rarely does a person on his deathbed speaks falsehood, the Supreme Court has held.

“The situation in which a person is on the deathbed is so solemn and serene, when he is dying that the grave position in which he is placed, is the reason in law to accept the veracity of his statement.

“It is for this reason that the requirement of oath and crossexamination are dispensed with. Besides, should the dying declaration be excluded, it will result in the miscarriage of justice because the victim being generally the only eyewitness in a serious crime, the exclusion of the statement would leave the court without a scrap of evidence,” the apex court observed.

However, the court has to be on guard that the statement of the deceased was not as a result of either tutoring, or prompting or a product of imagination, a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly of the apex court said.

The Bench passed the observation while dismissing an appeal filed by Satish Ambanna Bansode who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his wife Satyawwa by setting her ablaze on October 5, 1999 in Mahrashtra’s Sangli district. PTI

Dictated dying declaration doubtful: SC

The Times of India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that the credibility of a dying declaration comes under “suspicion” if the statement is not in the “actual words” of the victim and has been dictated by somebody else.

“If the dying declaration is recorded not directly from the actual words of the maker but as dictated by somebody else... this creates a lot of suspicion about credibility of such a statement,” a bench comprising Justice R M Lodha and Justice Shiva Kirti Singh said. The SC set aside a Karnataka HC verdict convicting three people in a 2002 murder case. AGENCIES

Women tend to falsely implicate in-laws: SC

From the archives of The Times of India 2007, 2009

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that a dying declaration should be scrutinized as minutely as possible since there is a tendency particularly among wives to implicate their in-laws in false cases of murder or attempt to murder.

The Apex Court said courts should scrutinize such declaration with a “miscroscopic eye” to find out the truthfulness as the victims at times are bound to be influenced by relatives to implicate innocent persons.

“The court has to examine a dying declaration scrupulously with a micrscopic eye to find out whether the dying declaration is voluntary, truthful, made in a conscious state of mind without being influenced by the relatives present or by the investigating agency who may be interested in the success of investigation or which may be negligent while recording the dying declaration.

“A number of times, a young girl or a wife, who makes the dying declaration, could be under the impression that she would lead a peaceful,congenial, happy and blissful married life only with her husband and therefore, has a tendency to implicate the inconvenient parents-in-law or other relatives,” a bench of Justices V S Sirpurkar and Mukundakam Sharma said in a judgement.

At the same time, the SC said a dying declaration cannot be rejected merely because there were certain factual errors. PTI

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