Dying Declaration – UPSC Prelims

What is the Dying Declaration?
  • The Dying Declaration is the statement of a person who had died explaining the circumstances of his death.
  • A dying declaration is considered credible and trustworthy evidence, based upon the general belief that most people who know that they are about to die, do not lie.
  • Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act deals with the cases related to that person who is dead or who cannot be found.
Who can record dying declarations?
  • Anyone can record the dying declaration of the deceased as per law. The law does not compulsorily require the presence of a Judicial or Executive Magistrate to record a dying declaration.
Do dying declarations always need corroboration?
  • A dying declaration can form the sole basis of conviction. The rule requiring corroboration is merely a rule of prudence.
  • Several judgments have noted that it is neither rule of law nor prudence that a dying declaration cannot be acted upon without corroboration.
  • If the court is satisfied that the dying declaration is true and voluntary, it can base conviction on it, without corroboration.
  • But the court has to scrutinise the dying declaration carefully and must ensure that the declaration is not the result of tutoring, prompting, or imagination.
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