`Dying declaration should be scrutinised minutely`

Last Updated: Monday, May 17, 2010 - 20:13

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that a
dying declaration should be scrutinised 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 scrutinise 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 apex court said a dying declaration
cannot be rejected merely because there were certain factual
errors.

"Again, it is extremely difficult to reject a dying
declaration merely because there are few factual errors
committed. The court has to weigh all the attendant
circumstances and come to the independent finding whether the
dying declaration was properly recorded and whether it was
voluntary and truthful.

"Once the court is convinced that the dying declaration
is so recorded, it may be acted upon and can be made a basis
of conviction," the bench said.

The apex court made the remarks while dismissing the
appeal of Puran Chand who was imposed life imprisonment along
with Gurdial for setting ablaze the latter`s wife Santosh on
December 8, 1997, in Haryana in a dowry-related case.

Though Gurdial did not challenge his conviction, Chand,
his elder brother, appealed in the apex court contending that
he was innocent as there were several inaccuracies in the
dying declaration.

However, the apex court, after examining the records in
the case, found no infirmities in the dying declaration of
Santosh and accordingly upheld the life sentence.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 17, 2010 - 20:13

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