Dying Declaration being only evidence of the prosecution – When there is no corroboration for the same

Evidentiary value of Dying Declaration:
12) About the evidentiary value of dying declaration of the deceased, it is relevant to refer Section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, which reads as under:-
32. Cases in which statement of relevant fact by person who is dead or cannot be found, etc., is relevant.- Statements, written or verbal, of relevant facts made by a person who is dead, or who cannot be found, or who has become incapable of giving evidence, or whose attendance cannot be procured without an amount of delay or expense which, under the circumstances of the case, appears to the Court unreasonable, are themselves relevant facts in the following cases:-

(1) when it relates to cause of death.- When the statement is made by a person as to the cause of his death, or as to any of the circumstances of the transaction which resulted in his death, in cases in which the cause of that persons death comes into question.
Such statements are relevant whether the person who made them was or was not, at the time when they were made, under expectation of death, and whatever may be the nature of the proceeding in which the cause of his death comes into question.
(2) .. …. ..
(8) . .

Is the Statement made by the deceased by way of a declaration is admissible in evidence?
It is clear from the above provision that the statement made by the deceased by way of a declaration is admissible in evidence under Section 32(1) of the Evidence Act.

Is there any particular form or procedure prescribed for recording a dying declaration?
There is no particular form or procedure prescribed for recording a dying declaration.

Is the dying declaration required to be recorded by a magistrate?
It is not required to be recorded only by a Magistrate.

Is the declaration be certified by a doctor?
As a general rule, it is advisable to get the evidence of the declarant certified from a doctor. In appropriate cases, the satisfaction of the person recording the statement regarding the state of mind of the deceased would also be sufficient to hold that the deceased was in a position to make a statement.

Does the Law insist upon the corroboration of dying declaration before it can be accepted?
It is settled law that if the prosecution solely depends on the dying declaration, the normal rule is that the courts must exercise due care and caution to ensure genuineness of the dying declaration, keeping in mind that the accused had no opportunity to test the veracity of the statement of the deceased by cross-examination. As rightly observed by the High Court, the law does not insist upon the corroboration of dying declaration before it can be accepted. The insistence of corroboration to a dying declaration is only a rule of prudence. When the Court is satisfied that the dying declaration is voluntary, not tainted by tutoring or animosity, and is not a product of the imagination of the declarant, in that event, there is no impediment in convicting the accused on the basis of such dying declaration. When there are multiple dying declarations, each dying declaration has to be separately assessed and evaluated and assess independently on its own merit as to its evidentiary value and one cannot be rejected because of certain variation in the other.

HELD:in view of clinching evidence led in by the prosecution, there cannot be any leniency in favour of the appellants, who are sisters-in-law of the deceased and at whose instance the deceased was burnt at the hands of her mother-in-law.
19) Accordingly, while agreeing with the conclusion arrived at by the trial Court and affirmed by the High Court, we find no merit in the appeal.

Ashabai And Anr. Vs. State of Maharashtra

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