Mere Absence Of Doctor's Certification Would Not Ipso Facto Render Dying Declaration Unacceptable: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court affirmed that the mere lack of approval from the doctor as to the fitness of the state of mind of the declarant does not ipso facto make the dying declaration unacceptable. In this case, the accused's argument was that the verdict is purely based on the deceased's dying assertion, which finds no corroboration. It was argued that at the time of documenting the dying declaration, the doctor's certificate was not there, so the dying declaration should not have been relied upon without the doctor's certificate.
On the other hand, the State argued that the doctor's certificate was not compulsory to rely on a dying declaration and that the Court could accept and rely on a dying declaration even if the doctor's certificate did not exist. In reviewing the evidence on record, the bench consisting of Justices Ashok Bhushan and Ajay Rastogi noted that while the Judicial Magistrate claimed in his deposition that no certificate was issued by the doctor that the deceased was in a fit state of mind to make a statement, he stated that the doctor had told him orally that he would be able to make a statement.
The Constitution Bench specifically held that the mere lack of approval by the doctor as to the fitness of the state of mind of the declarant does not ipso facto make the dying declaration unacceptable. It was further held that the importance of proof in such a statement would depend on the facts and circumstances of the case in question. The bench noted, rejecting the appeal, that the dying statement of the deceased was immediately registered and proved to be true.