“There Is No Prescribed Format Of Recording The Dying Declaration. If The Dying Declaration Is The Oral And Is Very Terse That May Also Inspires The Confidence In Regard Its Truthfulness”: Jharkhand High Court






Case Title: Sandeep Kumar Tripathy vs The State of Jharkhand

A division bench of Justice Subhash Chand and Justice Ananda Sen of the Jharkhand High Court has stated that no specific format is mandated for documenting a dying declaration, which can be either oral or written. Nevertheless, any court that considers such a declaration must verify that it was given by the individual when in a sound mental state.

“It is the settled law that the dying declaration may be oral or in writing. But while relying dying declaration the Court has to satisfy whether it was made in fit state of mind. There is no prescribed format of recording the dying declaration. If the dying declaration is the oral and is very terse that may also inspires the confidence in regard its truthfulness.”

The court dismissed the appeal of a life convict challenging his murder conviction under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. The convict had been accused of fatally stabbing his love interest, the informant’s wife, in the abdomen in 2012. The victim, despite being wounded, managed to restrain the accused and raise an alarm.

Consequently, the court determined her physical and mental competence to provide a dying declaration. Notably, the court emphasized that the presence of a medical certification regarding her mental state was unnecessary as her fitness was attested to by Rudan Singh, the witness to her declaration.

The Court determined that Rudan Singh’s testimony held partial admissibility as an eyewitness to a segment of the incident and also as a witness to the deceased’s dying declaration, made while in an injured state.

Furthermore, the Court dismissed the plea raised by the convict’s counsel regarding the lack of explanation of the dying declaration to him. It was concluded that during the appellant-convict’s Section 313 statement, the questions posed to him and his responses indicated that the dying declaration formed a component of Rudan Singh’s testimony, alongside statements from other witnesses. These details were duly elucidated by the trial court to the convict, encompassing all inculpatory circumstances contained therein.

During the trial, the court deemed the absence of the murder weapon inconsequential to the case as the seizure memo detailing the blood-stained “Bhujali” was adequately substantiated by the prosecution witnesses.

Consequently, the appeal was dismissed by the court.

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