SC noted that a dying statement cannot be discarded just because the relatives of the deceased were present when the statement was recorded.
In the present case of Satpal v. Haryana State, the judge recorded a statement in which the deceased stated that the accused poured kerosene oil on them and set them on fire. While the conviction was being challenged, the accused asserted before the court that the statement was made under the influence of the family members because they were present in the hospital while the deceased was making the statement at the time. According to the defendant, the deceased tried to commit suicide while doing his best to put out the fire.
While observing the argument, the court also found that the magistrate mentioned in its opinion that the deceased’s relatives were absent at the time the deceased’s dying declaration was recorded. The court also found that simply because the deceased’s parents and other relatives were present at the hospital when the deceased’s testimony was recorded, simply because their family members had reached the hospital when they learned of the burn injuries, were among the deceased’s too suffer, it cannot be said that the declaration of the deceased before the magistrate was an informed one. It is claimed that at the time the deceased’s declaration was recorded, all family members were sent out and the declaration was recorded as deposited by the deceased. It is argued that when all of the evidence is taken into account, the prosecution case under Section 302 IPC is clearly established. It is argued that the evidence presented is duly considered by both the Trial Court and the High Court and, given the simultaneous findings recorded by both of the courts below, no case is found to be disruptive to them.
Therefore, the Supreme Court ruled that the dying declaration could not be believed only because the relatives of the deceased were present at the hospital when it was recorded.