SC: Dying declaration is not corroborated if imp. witnesses aren’t examined

On 9thApril, 2019, in the matter of Sampat Babso Kale & Anr. v. The State of Maharashtra, the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that the non­-examination of important witnesses leads to non-­corroboration of the dying declaration.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court also observed that:

The presumption of innocence which is attached to every accused person gets strengthened when such an accused is acquitted by the trial court and the High Court should not lightly interfere with the decision of the trial court which has recorded the evidence and observed the demeanour of witnesses. (Para 7)

A dying declaration is an extremely important piece of evidence and where the Court is satisfied that the dying declaration is truthful, voluntary and not a result of any extraneous influence, the Court can convict the accused only on the basis of a dying declaration. (Para 14)

At the time of dying declaration, the combined effect of the trauma with the administration of painkillers could lead to a case of possible delusion, and therefore in such cases there is a need to look for corroborative evidence. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 15)

The non­-examination of important witnesses leads to non-­corroboration of the dying declaration. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 19)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_09-Apr-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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