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Mere Absence Of Doctor's Certification Would Not Ipso Facto Render Dying Declaration Unacceptable: Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
12 Feb 2021 4:04 PM GMT
Mere Absence Of Doctors Certification Would Not Ipso Facto Render Dying Declaration Unacceptable: Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court reiterated that mere absence of doctor's certification as to the fitness of the declarant's state of mind would not ipso facto render the dying declaration unacceptable.The contention of the accused in this case was that the conviction is solely based on the dying declaration of the deceased which finds no corroboration. It was contended that the doctor's certificate was...

The Supreme Court reiterated that mere absence of doctor's certification as to the fitness of the declarant's state of mind would not ipso facto render the dying declaration unacceptable.

The contention of the accused in this case was that the conviction is solely based on the dying declaration of the deceased which finds no corroboration. It was contended that the doctor's certificate was not there at the time of recording the dying declaration hence without there being certificate of doctor the dying declaration could not have been relied. 

On the other hand, the State relied on to contend that doctor's certificate is not mandatory for relying on the dying declaration and Court can consider and rely on a dying declaration even if there is no doctor's certificate.

The bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi, examining the evidence on record, noted that although Judicial Magistrate in his deposition stated that no certificate was given by doctor that the deceased was in a fit state of mind to give statement but he stated that doctor had orally told him that he would be able to give statement.

"The Constitution Bench clearly held that mere absence of doctor's certification as to the fitness of the declarant's state of mind would not ipso facto render the dying declaration unacceptable. It was further held that evidentiary value of such a declaration would depend on the facts and circumstances of the particular case. In the present case Judicial Magistrate, who has appeared in the witness box, has proved the dying declaration and looking to the facts and circumstances especially the presence of doctor who had signed the dying declaration and who had told the Judicial Magistrate that the injured was in a fit condition to give statement, we see no reason to take any contrary view to one which has been taken by learned Trial Court as well as the High Court.", the bench observed.

Dismissing the appeal, the bench observed that the dying declaration of the deceased was promptly recorded and has been proved to be genuine.

In Laxman vs State Of Maharashtra, the Constitution Bench held that the observations made in Paparambaka Rosamma & Ors. vs. State of Andhra Pradesh 1999 (7) SCC 695 to the effect that "in the absence of a medical certification that the injured was in a fit state of mind at the time of making the declaration, it would be very much risky to accept the subjective satisfaction of a magistrate who opined that the injured was in a fit state of mind at the time of making a declaration" has been too broadly stated and is not the correct enunciation of law. 

"It is indeed a hyper-technical view that the certification of the doctor was to the effect that the patient is conscious and there was no certification that the patient was in a fit state of mind specially when the magistrate categorically stated in his evidence indicating the questions he had put to the patient and from the answers elicited was satisfied that the patient was in a fit state of mind where-after he recorded the dying declaration. Therefore, the judgment of this court in Paparambaka Rosamma & Ors. vs. State of Andhra Pradesh 1999 (7) SCC 695 must be held to be not correctly decided and we affirm the law laid down by this court in Koli Chunilal Savji & Another vs. State of Gujarat 1999(9) SCC 562 case.", the Constitution Bench had held.

CASE: SURENDRA BANGALI @ SURENDRA SINGH ROUTELE vs. STATE OF JHARKHAND [CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1078 OF 2010]
CORAM: Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi
CITATION: LL 2021 SC 82


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