Though there is a presumption that the persons in dead-bed expecting death at any moment will not tell a lie, such a presumption shall not have universal application, the court said.
While acquitting a ‘husband’ who was convicted by the Trial court for offences under Sections 498-A and 306 of the Indian Penal code, the Madras High Court has observed that dying declaration need not be always true and such a presumption, have no universal application. Justice P.R. Shivakumar set aside the conviction; the trial court had recorded, relying mainly on the dying declaration.
The court observed that though there is a presumption that the persons in dead-bed expecting death at any moment will not tell a lie, such a presumption shall not have universal application and it depends upon the facts and circumstances of each case. If the statement recorded as the dying declaration of the deceased inspires the confidence of the Court, then there would not be any impediment for the Court to act on such dying declaration to base a conviction. However it shall be prudent to seek corroboration. Such dying declarations shall have weight provided it is not proved that maker was not exposed to the tutoring of others before making such dying declaration. In the case on hand, it is the admission of PW1 that her daughter was tutored by them as to how she should give her statement as dying declaration to the Judicial Magistrate, the court said.
The court also observed the admission by Judicial Magistrate that he did not make a note as to whether the relatives and friends were there at the time of her recording the dying declaration of Sheela and there was also nothing to show that the Judicial Magistrate tried to ascertain whether the deceased was briefed as to what should be stated by her in the dying declaration.
Read the Judgment here.