Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act, 18723 relates to statements, written or verbal of relevant fact made by a person who is dead or who cannot be found , in others word , a dying declaration.

  • A summary of the exhaustive principles is laid down here for quick reference

    Circumstances disclosed in the dying declaration must have a proximate relation to the actual occurrence
  • If a dying declaration inspires confidence, it can form the basis of conviction even without corroborative evidence.
  • Court must ensure deceased’s Fit state of mind for dying declaration.
  • If there were witnesses who were present during the statement to prove that the deceased was indeed in fit state of mind, their statement would prevail over medical evidence.
  • The absence of the doctor’s  certificate regarding the “ fit state of mind” of the declarant would not make the dying declaration inadmissible.
  • In case of multiple dying declarations- Reliability and  not polarity determine the evidentiary value.
  • If there were witnesses who were present during the statement to prove that the deceased was indeed in a fit state of mind, their statements would prevail over medical evidence.
  • The presence of a magistrate is not a necessity but only a rule of prudence.
  • Dying declaration not to be discarded only due to brevity.
  • Examination of the person who reduced dying declaration into writing is essential.
  • Where the original recorded dying declaration is lost or unavailable, the prosecution is entitled to provide secondary evidence.
  • A dying declaration must be free from tutoring, prompting, or imagination.

    In case of Multiple Dying Declaration
  • Voluntary and Reliable Statements: All dying declarations must be voluntary and reliable, with the person making the statement in a fit state of mind.
  • Consistency: Dying declarations should be consistent, and any inconsistencies should be “material” to impact their credibility.
  • Corroboration: In cases with inconsistencies, other available evidence may be used to corroborate the contents of the dying declarations.
  • Contextual Interpretation: Dying declarations must be interpreted in light of the surrounding facts and circumstances.
  • Independent Evaluation: Each declaration must be independently evaluated, and the court should determine which statement is most reliable to proceed with the case.
  • Magistrate’s Statement: When inconsistencies exist, the statement recorded by a Magistrate or a higher-ranking officer can be relied upon if it demonstrate truthfulness and freedom from suspicion.
  • Medical Fitness: The physical condition of the person making the declaration, especially in cases of burn injuries, is crucial. The extent of burn injuries and their impact on the person’s mental faculties, along with other factors, must be considered.

    Written By Adv Rohit Yadav

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