What do you mean by Dying Declaration?
In simple words, the Dying Declaration means words said before death. And the Latin word of dying declaration is Letern Mortem. The dying declaration means a statement of a person as to the cause to his death or in any circumstances which shall result in death, where the cause of that person’s death comes into question. Res Gestae and Dying Declaration both are different thing. If there is inconsistency in Dying Declaration, that can be rejected. Dying Declaration recorded by police is valid in Evidence. Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its admissibility and Validity.
Who may solicit a Dying Declaration?
A Dying Declaration is an exception to the rule of hearsay evidence. And it is admissible. The statement of a person who dies, whether the death has homicide or a suicide, provided the statement relates to the cause of death or deals with circumstances leading to death. Statements made by the deceased about the cruelty to the witnesses were long before her death. And not being about the circumstances leading to the death of the deceased do not come within the purview of dying declaration. There may be false Dying Declaration. Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its admissibility and Validity.
Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act –Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its admissibility and Validity.
Statements by the persons who are not witnesses. Under this section, written or verbal statements of relevant facts made by a person a) who is dead b) Or who has not found c) whoever has become incompetent of giving evidence d) whose appearance cannot secure without inordinate delay or expense, are relevant under the following circumstances, fundamental and essential requirements for admissibility of Dying Declaration.
- Whenever it relates to the cause of his death.
- It made in the course of his business, such as an entry in books, or acknowledgement or the receipt of any property, or date of a document.
- When it has against the monetary or proprietary interest of the individual making it, or when it would have exposed him to criminal prosecution or a suit for damages.
- It gives opinions as to a public right or custom or matters of general interest and it was made before any controversy as to such right or custom had arisen.
- When it relates to the existence of any relationship between persons as to whose relationship the maker had special means of knowledge, and it was made before the question in dispute arose. (Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its Validity)
- When it relates to the existence of any relationship between persons deceased and is made in any will or deed or family pedigree, or upon any tombstone or family portrait, and was made before the question in dispute arose.
- It contained in any deed, will, or other documents.
- Whenever it has made by several persons and express feelings relevant to the matter in question. Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its admissibility and Validity.
Nemo moriturus prosesumitur mentiri Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its admissibility and Validity.
The general principle on which this spices of evidence is admitted is that they are declarations made in extremity when the party is at the point of death and when every expectation of this world is gone when every reason to falsehood is quieted, and the mind is induced by the most powerful considerations to speak the truth. A situation to solemn and so lawful is considered by the law as creating an obligation equal to that which is imposed by a positive oath administered in a court of justice. The principle on which dying declaration is admitted in evidence is indicated in the legal maxim “Nemo moriturus prosesumitur mentiri”. It means a man will not meet his maker with a lie in his mouth. A suicide note comes under the purview of dying declaration. Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its admissibility and Validity.
A person who is dead
When a person making dying declaration chances to live, his statement is inadmissible as a dying declaration under section 32(1) of Indian Evidence Act. But it may rely on under the provisions of section 157 to corroborate his testimony when examined. And also under section 155 for contradiction. And also use as an admission under section 23 of Evidence Act.
When a person died after some time Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its admissibility and Validity.
Where the victim received a grievous injury to the intestines. His statement about his assault recorded by Executive Magistrate. And subsequently, he discharged from the hospital. But later because of some complications, the victim admitted in the hospital. It has found that the injury had become dangerous and finally he died. It has held that the statement of the victim amounted to a dying declaration as to the cause of his death.
Dying Declaration can be oral or written
A dying declaration is not a statement which requires to be in writing. Oral evidence as to the statement made by the injured person who happens to die subsequently would prove the declaration. If the declaration has recorded, the record would be merely a note made by the witness and would not be substantive evidence.
A statement made by the deceased, pointing out the person causing his death, at the identification parade held by the police is admissible as his dying declaration.
Cases / Examples of Dying Declaration
This is one of the landmark Judgement of Supreme Court on Dying Declaration. In the instance case, the deceased was subject to a gang rape in the school by four to five persons. Appellant was also included. The deceased dying declaration was verbal and also connected with the actual transaction. Her statement was proved by her husband PW 1. As he has heard that dying declaration of deceased after her gang rape and before her death. And this court has opinioned that the statement of deceased directly connected and related to her death unveiling a telltale story. Hence, such dying declaration of deceased would certainly fall within four corners of section 32 of Evidence Act.
Therefore, allegations like non-discloser of dying declaration to other relatives in peculiar facts of this case, would not make the statement irrelevant or doubtful. There has no evidence on record which suggest the relation of the deceased’s husband with the accused strained. There was no motive of the deceased or husband to falsely implicate the accused in the offence which would not put her chastity at stake. Hence, the court should have no hesitation in accepting her statement regarding the gang-rape incident.
Proximity between time of statement and death
In Sharad vs Maharashtra, A married woman was writing to her parents about her harassment at the hands of her in-laws. And after four months she lost her life. Her letters has sought to prove as dying declaration. The court held that the statements were not so remote in time as to lose their proximity with the cause of death. Court also state following propositions.
- The death whether homicide or suicide, the declaration shall relevant. Provided that it associates to the cause of death or exhibits circumstances leading to death.
- The test of concurrence cannot literally be issued and practically reduced to a cut and dried formula of universal application. Period would depend on or vary with the circumstances of each case.
The supreme court opined that there were couple probabilities namely it may be a case of suicide or murder. The expression cause of death applies to both. Where two plausibilities open, the accused can entitle to avail of doubt and could not sentence on the statement amounting to dying declaration.
In Paniben Vs State of Gujrat, the Supreme Court has laid down the following principles:
- There is no rule of law and also not of prudence that dying declaration cannot be portrayed upon without corroboration.
- If the Court has convinced that the dying declaration is voluntary and true. The same can base a for conviction without corroboration.
- The court has to examine the dying declaration thoroughly. And must assure that the statement is not the result of tutoring, prompting or fabrication. The deceased had the chance to inspect and identify the assailants. And he was in a fit state to make the declaration.
- Where dying declaration is doubtful it should not be acted upon without supporting evidence.
- Where the deceased has an unconscious state and he was not in a position to make any dying declaration, the evidence concerning it has to reject.
A dying declaration which suffers from deficiency can not form the foundation of conviction.
- Simply because a dying declaration does not contain the particulars as to the incident, it should not reject.
- Merely because it has a concise statement, it should not reject. On the contrary, the conciseness of the statement itself confirms the truth.
- Usually, the court to answer whether the deceased was in a fit mental condition to make the dying declaration. And also has to see to the medical view. But whenever the eye witness has deposed that the deceased was in a fit and conscious position to make his dying declaration, the medical opinion can not prevail.
- Where the prosecution version differs from the version as given in the dying declaration, the said declaration can not be acted upon.
- Where there is more than one statement like dying declaration, one first in point of time must be preferred. Of course, if the majority of dying declaration could hold reliable and trustworthy, it has to admit.
Corroboration –Meaning of Dying Declaration and Its admissibility and Validity.
In the Muniappan Vs State of Madras, it has held that corroboration would not always be required if the dying declaration is complete in its charge. There is nothing to prove that the author of the statement had anything extra to attach. In this case, there is some other proof to incriminate the accused. The injuries had caused with a knife and the knife had found at some distance from the scene of occurrence on information furnished to the police by accused. The knife had found in human blood stains and accused has in his possession a cover of the knife.
The cover has identified by the shopkeeper, who has sold the knife and cover to the appellant. Appellant has also injury on his thumb which he got at the time of attempting stabbing. There is also evidence of motive in the shape of the quarrel which took place two days before. The rival parties also made a report to the police. There was no corroboration of dying declaration with the PW1. Hence it has held that the dying declaration has accepted. The evidence, in this case, has sufficient to convict the appellant on the charge of murder.
Frequently asked question:
The Dying Declaration meaning in Hindi? Dying Declaration meaning in Marathi? Dying Declaration meaning in Tamil?
Marathi – संपणारा घोषणा, Tamil – இறக்கும் அறிவிப்பு, Hindi – मरने का ऐलान