Patna High Court Doubts Dying Declaration From A Victim With 100% Burn Injuries






 Case Title: Mahesh Pandit vs The State of Bihar

The division bench of Justice Ashutosh Kumar and Justice Jitendra Kumar of the Patna High Court while acquitting the appellant who was convicted for the offence under section 498A and 302 of the IPC observed that the deceased (wife) who caught fire and suffered 100% burn injuries would not have been in a position to give any declaration implicating the accused.

The appellants are the husband and father-in-law of the deceased who died due to burn injuries. The dying declaration of the deceased was recorded by the Sub-Inspector in the presence of the brother of the deceased and a doctor at a hospital.

During the trial, it is testified by the deceased brother that he received a call from his uncle informing him that his sister had been subjected to burns inflicted by her husband and in-laws. Subsequently, he went to the police station to report the incident, leading to his visit to his sister’s marital home accompanied by police officers. There, the deceased’s brother witnessed that the deceased was fully burnt.

After taking her to the hospital, the sub-inspector recorded the victim’s statement revealing that her husband and in-laws had allegedly set her on fire as she failed to bring Rs 2 lakhs dowry from her parental home.

The advocate for the appellants submitted that the deceased died an accidental death. Given the extent of her burns, it was contended that she was not capable of providing any statements as claimed by the prosecution.  

The bench remarked that “With such burn injuries to the extent of 100%, as claimed by the defence, she would not have been in a position to make a detailed statement implicating the appellants…and which statement has been relied upon by the Trial Court as the dying declaration of the deceased.”

The bench also raised concerns about the deceased’s brother heading directly towards the police station instead of first visiting the deceased’s matrimonial home.

The bench also raised doubts the police approach of visiting deceased matrimonial home with obtaining a detailed statement from her brother.

“It appears to be rather strange that on the asking of the brother of the victim and without recording any detailed statement, the police proceeded to the matrimonial home of the deceased.”

It was stated by the sub-inspector that the victim was not fully burnt she was conscious at her matrimonial home

The bench remarked that “If the victim was found to be conscious, it would have been the best possible step to get her statement recorded there only before taking her to the hospital. Some time had elapsed in arranging for a vehicle.”

The bench determined that the prosecution had raised concerns regarding the authenticity of the dying declaration and it could not prove the guilt of the appellants beyond a reasonable doubt.

While acquitting the appellant the bench said, “The deceased having suffered 100 percent burn injuries and the unnecessary insistence of PW-4 and PW-6 about the fit mental and physical health of the victim/ deceased to make such statement, renders the prosecution case doubtful or at-least the implication of the appellants to be not beyond shadow of doubts.”

Share this

Recent Updates


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More like this

error: Content is protected !!