SC observed that a dying declaration cannot be discarded just because the relatives of the deceased were present while recording of the statement.
In the present case of Satpal v. State of Haryana, a declaration was recorded by the Judicial Magistrate wherein the deceased stated that the accused person poured kerosene oil on her and set her on fire. While challenging the conviction, the accused person contended before the court that since the declaration was made under the influence of the family members as they were present in the hospital while the deceased was giving the statement at that time. According to the statement of accused, the deceased had made an attempt to commit suicide while he tried his best to extinguish the fire.
While observing the argument, the court also came to know that the Magistrate has mentioned in her deposition that the relatives of the deceased were not present at the time of the recording of the dying declaration of the deceased. Also, the court observed that, merely because the parents and other relatives of the deceased were present in the Hospital, when the statement of the deceased was recorded, merely because her family members have reached the hospital, on coming to know of the burn injuries, suffered by the deceased, it cannot be said that the declaration made by the deceased before the Magistrate was a tutored one. It is submitted that at the time of recording of statement of deceased, all the family members were sent out and the statement was recorded, as deposed by the deceased. It is submitted that if the entire evidence is considered, it clearly proves the case of the prosecution for offence under Section 302 of the IPC. It is submitted that the evidence on record is properly appreciated by the Trial Court as well as the High Court, and in view of the concurrent findings, recorded by both the Courts below, no case is made out to interfere with the same.
Therefore, the Supreme Court held that the dying declaration cannot be disbelieved merely because the relatives of the deceased were present in the hospital while recording it.