Dying Declarations – Indian Evidence Law

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Kushal Rao v. State of Bombay

The appellant had caused Baboolal’s death intentionally and there were no extenuating circumstances. The court upheld the conviction and sentence of the appellant on the ground that the dying declarations were corroborated by the fact that the appellant had been absconding and keeping out of the way of the police, and had been arrested under very suspicious circumstances. The Court relied upon three dying declarations recorded at the hospital first by the attending doctor, second by the Sub-Inspector of police and the third by the magistrate first class between 9:25 and 11:35pm. If on examination, the Court is satisfied that the dying declaration was the true version of the occurrence, conviction can be based solely upon it. In order to pass the test of reliability, a dying declaration has to be subjected to a very close scrutiny, keeping in view the fact that the statement has been made in the absence of the accused who had no opportunity of testing the veracity of the statement by cross-examination. The only other question that remains to be considered is whether there are any extenuating circumstances in favor of the accused justifying the lesser of the two sentences prescribed by law. In the Court’s opinion, there are none.



Harbans Singh v. State of Punjab

The dying declaration alleged to have been made by the deceased Hazura Singh. The Court is satisfied from the evidence of the witnesses that there was sufficient light to enable Hazura Singh to recognize clearly the assailant who struck the blow which caused this injury. On the consideration of evidence the court was of the view that Harbans Singh committed murder by causing the death of Hazura Singh and also committed murder by causing the death of Munshi Singh. But the evidence leaves scope for thinking that Hazura Singh has made a mistake about Major Singh or has wrongly implicated him, therefore set aside the conviction of Major Singh.

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