No officer of the state government must record the dying declaration of a person in the printed format, the Bombay high court directed recently.
While dismissing the bail application of an accused in a murder case, the court had in July noted that the second dying declaration of the victim appeared to be in a format written by the special executive officer (SEO), who exercises the powers of a magistrate.
The court observed that “the format of the dying declaration appears to be in composite form.” A division bench of justice AS Oka and justice Shrihari Davare held that the format appeared to be defective. The bench directed the state to take instructions from concerned authorities and submit a report in this regard.
The ruling was passed while hearing the bail application of Dilip Kumar who was convicted for murder in 2011.
The advocate for the accused had argued that though there were two dying declarations of the victim, an oral one and a printed one, the mental condition of the victim had not been ascertained before recording them.
The court had opposed the bail plea since both the declarations of the victim were consistent. However, the court also said that “the printed format adopted by the SEO was completely wrong.”
The state informed the court that “the printed format has not been used in any other case.” The court then directed the state government to “ensure that the printed format is not used by any officer while recording a dying declaration”.