Conviction valid solely on dying declaration: SC

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has ruled that a person can be convicted on the basis of a dying declaration as long as it was "trustworthy" even if other witnesses turn hostile.

A Bench of Justices P Sathasivam and A R Dave in a judgement also held that even if the police mistakenly record a second FIR on the same case it does not in any manner cause prejudice to the accused.

"If dying declaration is trustworthy and if it can be shown that the person making the statement was not influenced by any exterior factor and made the statement which was duly recorded, it can be made a basis for conviction.”

"On perusal of the record, we find that in the instant case there was no doubt with regard to the truthfulness of the dying declaration and, therefore, in our opinion, it cannot be said that on the sole basis of dying declaration the order of conviction could not have been passed," Justices Dave writing the judgement said.

The apex court passed the judgement while dismissing Chirra Shivraj's appeal, convicted under Section 304 Part II(culpable homicide not amounting to murder) IPC and sentenced to 5 years SI by a sessions court in Andhra Pradesh's Nizambad district for causing the death of his sister-in-law Chirra Shantha over a property dispute.