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Dying Declaration To Be Recorded In Declarant’s Own Language: Karnataka HC [Read Judgment]

Ashok K.M
20 Oct 2017 5:38 AM GMT
Dying Declaration To Be Recorded In Declarant’s Own Language: Karnataka HC [Read Judgment]
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Sophisticated bookish language employed in the declaration raises reasonable doubt as to whether declarant’s mind was translated into writing in its true sense, the bench observed.

The Karnataka High Court has observed that the dying declaration shall be recorded in the language expressed by the declarant.

In the instant case, the deceased victim, according to the prosecution case, was an illiterate, coolie with rustic background, but the dying declaration was seen recorded in a sophisticated language.

While holding that the dying declaration is unreliable, the division bench comprising Justice Rathnakala and Justice KS Mudagal observed: “It cannot be presumed or assumed that she would have narrated the motive for the incident as above in a sophisticated language which was not familiar to her. If the vital portion of the dying declaration, as answered to question No.21 was recorded verbatim in the language of the declarant and was the actual version of her statement, then same could have been acted upon dehors corroboration to record conviction.”

The court also observed that sophisticated bookish language employed in the declaration raises reasonable doubt, as to whether declarant’s mind was translated into writing in its true sense.

The court further observed: “As per Criminal Rules of Practice in the neighbouring State, the declaration should be taken down in the words of the declarant as far as possible. There is no such corresponding provision in Karnataka Criminal Rules of Practice. However, the rule of wisdom would caution that the declarant’s version shall be recorded in the language expressed by him/her.”

Holding that the dying declaration not only suffers from non-corroboration but also falls short of reliability, the court acquitted the accused.

Read the Judgment Here

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