Dying Declaration | The Last Word

Pushpabai and Uttam, a T.V. Mechanic, got married on 19th March, 1994. It is alleged, Uttam was having an illicit relationship with Kusum Gaikwad. Pushpabai succumbed to her injuries on 31st March, 1995.

Kundula Bala Subrahmanyam v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1993) 2 SCC 684 highlighted significance of a Dying Declaration. Shudhakar v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (2012) 7 SCC 569 opined, once a Dying Declaration is found to be reliable, it can form the basis of conviction. In cases involving multiple Dying Declarations, the problem becomes more knotty when Dying Declarations made are found to be contradictory.

It must be remembered, all four Dying Declarations, two in writing and other two oral, were based on statements given at different times on 27th March, 1995 when Pushpabai had suffered 93% burn injuries and there is serious doubt about her being mentally and physically fit.  

Uttam is entitled to being granted benefit of doubt. To be set at liberty forthwith.

Hon’ble Justice Hima Kohli, Uttam v. State of Maharashtra, [Criminal Appeal No. 485 of 2012].

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