The SC observed that just because the victim has suffered 100% burn injuries, it cannot be said that the victim is incapable to make a dying declaration. The Bench of J. AM Khanwilkar and J. Dinesh Maheswari rejected the contention that victim suffering 100% burn injuries cannot make a proper, coherent and intelligible statement and observed that:
“Irrespective of the extent and gravity of burn injuries, when the doctor has certified him to be in fit state of mind to make the statement, and the person recording the statement was also satisfied about his fitness for making such statement; and when there does not appear any inherent or apparent defect, in our view, the dying declaration cannot be discarded. Suffice would be to observe to prevent purpose that merely for 100% burn injuries, it cannot be said that the victim was incapable to make a statement which could be acted upon as dying declaration.”
The court also observed that when dying declaration satisfies all the requirements of judicial scrutiny then the statement cannot be discarded merely because it has not been recorded by a magistrate or that the police did no obtain attestation by any person at the time of making a dying declaration.
The bench upheld the conviction of the accused under section 302 of the Indian Penal code.