Navigating Legal Challenges in Dying Declaration Proceedings


Welcome to the official blog of the Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates, where we are dedicated to providing litigation support services for matters related to Dying Declarations. In today’s blog post, we aim to shed light on the prevailing issues surrounding Dying Declarations, the legal framework in place for their protection, and the steps we can take as a society to combat these acts. 

Meaning of Dying Declarations

Dying declarations are considered significant in legal contexts, particularly in criminal cases, as they are often admitted as evidence in court. The rationale behind their admissibility is the assumption that individuals facing imminent death are unlikely to lie, and their statements hold a higher degree of reliability. The legal framework for dying declarations varies by jurisdiction, and their admissibility may depend on factors such as the mental state of the declarant and how the statement was made.

Dying Declaration Case Laws and Landmark Judgments:

Pakala Narain Swami v. Emperor Case:

The deceased, a former peon, had financial dealings with Pakala Narain Swami, who was married to a daughter of the dewan of Pithapur. After facing financial difficulties, the accused and his wife returned to Pithapur in 1993. The wife borrowed Rs. 3,000 from the deceased in 1936. On March 18, 1937, the accused invited the deceased to Berhampur through a letter. The deceased left but never returned, and on March 23, 1937, his dismembered body was found in a trunk at Puri. The accused was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

During the trial, the deceased’s widow revealed that her husband had shown her a letter stating he was going to Berhampur to receive payment. The Privy Council deemed the widow’s statement relevant to the circumstances leading to the deceased’s death. They emphasized the importance of circumstances having a proximate relation to the actual cause of death, and in this case, the statement indicated a transaction resulting in murder. The case highlights the significance of statements made by the deceased in establishing a strong basis for conviction.

Kushal Rao v State of Bombay

In the case of Kushal Rao v State of Bombay, the court established essential rules for recording dying declarations. Emphasizing the question-answer format, endorsement by a doctor, and the legality of the recorder, the court highlights the importance of consistency, especially in cases involving multiple declarations.

Lakhan v. State of M.P.

The Supreme Court emphasizes that a conscious and mentally fit declarant’s dying declaration, when voluntarily made, requires no corroboration for conviction.

State of Punjab v. Parveen Kumar

The court establishes measures for testing the veracity of multiple dying declarations, emphasizing the need for consistency and corroborating evidence.

Sudhakar v. State of Madhya Pradesh

The Supreme Court outlines guidelines for dealing with varying dying declarations, ensuring a reasonable connection to the transaction in question.

Legal Observation in Biju Joseph v. State of Kerala:

The court, as seen in Biju Joseph v. State of Kerala, emphasizes that a dying declaration’s value is not diminished simply because it was made in the deceased’s language. The judicial magistrate is entrusted with the responsibility of converting the statement into the court language without affecting its credibility.

Natha Shankar Mahajan v. State of Maharashtra:

In this case, the Supreme Court underscores that if there is doubt about the deceased’s statement, the benefit should go to the accused. However, a true and reliable statement can be the sole basis for conviction.

Surajdeo Oza v. State of Bihar:

The Supreme Court rejects the notion that a brief dying declaration should be discarded, asserting that the length of the statement doesn’t determine its truthfulness. Scrutiny is necessary, examining each aspect to ensure it is not a result of imagination.

Bhairon Singh v. State of M.P.

Examining the case of Bhairon Singh v. State of M.P., the court initially deemed the incident accidental, not invoking sections 113-A and 113-B of the Evidence Act. Subsequent changes in judgment, however, occurred based on the deceased’s brother’s statement, highlighting demands for dowry and violence by the accused.

Pritam Singh v. State of U.P

Exemplifies that even in the absence of corroborative evidence, a conviction can be secured.

K.R Reddy v. Public Prosecutor

Examining the evidentiary value of dying declarations, the court, in K.R Reddy v. Public Prosecutor, emphasized the admissibility of dying declarations under Section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act. The court highlighted the importance of cross-examination to determine the truth.

Dying Deposition vs. Dying Declaration: Understanding the Difference

Distinguish between dying deposition and dying declaration. While both serve similar purposes, dying deposition involves recording in the presence of a magistrate, providing an added layer of formality compared to dying declarations.


  • In a case of suicide due to heartbreak, the deceased’s statement to the father, recorded by the father, serves as a valid dying declaration.
  • In a case of burn injuries, a dying deposition recorded by a magistrate in the presence of the accused’s lawyer holds evidentiary weight.

Comparison Between Dying & Deposition Declaration

BasisDying DeclarationDying Deposition
OathHere, the oath is not administered.Administering oath is important.
Cross-examinationCross-examination is not allowed.Administering oaths is important.
Recorded by whomNormal person, doctor, police officer, magistrate.Witnesses can be cross-examined by the lawyer.
ApplicabilityApplicable in India.No provision for dying deposition.
ValueHas less value.Magistrate in the presence of the accused or lawyer.


The admissibility of dying declarations varies based on jurisdiction, considering factors such as the declarant’s mental state and the manner of statement. Examining landmark cases, legal principles, and court observations, it becomes evident that the value of a dying declaration is pivotal in establishing a strong basis for conviction. Legal precedents highlight the importance of consistency, voluntariness, and scrutiny in accepting multiple dying declarations. Distinct from dying deposition, declarations play a crucial role in legal proceedings, and their careful consideration is essential for fair judgments.

We are a law firm in the name and style of Law Offices of Kr. Vivek Tanwar Advocate and Associates at Gurugram and Rewari. We are providing litigation support services for matters related to the  Indian Evidence Act 1872.

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