Role Of Doctors In Dying Declaration

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Dying Declaration:

Dr Robert Keisham Dying Declaration

What Is Dying Declaration:

What Is Dying Declaration Dying declaration is defined as the written or verbal statement made by a person – likely to die because of some unnatural act done on his body narrating the circumstances responsible for his present state of health or the cause and manner of unlikely death. It is an evidence under Section 32 of the IEA,1872.

Value Of Dying Declaration:

Value Of Dying Declaration A dying declaration is considered a vital piece of evidence to nail a murder accused. Great solemnity and sanctity is attached to the words of a dying man because on the verge of death, he is not likely to tell a lie or to concort a case so as to implicate an innocent person. A dying declaration if found reliable by a jury, may by itself, sustain a conviction.

Who Can Record A Dying Declaration:

Who Can Record A Dying Declaration Ideally Dying Declaration is to be recorded by Executive or Honorary magistrate but if the magistrate is not available or there is not enough time for him, it can be recorded by the treating doctor, a police officer or even a village head. If in case it is not in a hospital dying declaration can be recorded by any person present near to the patient. It should be recorded in the presence of at least two witnesses. In case of dowry death, it is essential that Dying Declaration should be recorded by the magistrate only.

Whether Doctor Is Duty-Bound To Record A Dying Declaration:

Whether Doctor Is Duty-Bound To Record A Dying Declaration The Doctor is the person to opine about the fitness of the deceased to make the statement. Where the life is ebbing fast in the patient and that there is no time to call the magistrate or the police, the doctor is indeed duty-bound to record the dying declaration of the deceased. However the doctor is expected to record a certificate that the declarant was conscious, in a fit mental condition and in his senses before recording the dying declaration. The trial judge is unjustified in rejecting the evidence of the Medical Officer.

Role Of Doctors If Other Person Is Recording The Dying Declaration:

Role Of Doctors If Other Person Is Recording The Dying Declaration The doctor should ascertain whether there is any hope of recovery of the patient; if not, he will have to assume that the statement should be taken before the patient dies. The doctor must prove the fit state of mind of the deceased before the declaration is recorded. The doctor should also certify that the mental condition of the patient is sound ( Compos Mentis ) so much so that, he is fully able to understand the implication and meaning of what he says or writes. Medical attention is required during the whole of recording of the declaration. If the patient dies during recording, then doctor should examine and certify the patient to be dead and then the incomplete dying declaration is to be signed by all the concerned.

How To Record A Dying Declaration:

How To Record A Dying Declaration The proper method for recording a dying declaration by a person, be he a Magistrate, a Doctor, or a Police Officer is that - The declarant is in his senses. If the declarant is not in his senses, the person recording the dying declaration should not proceed further beyond making a note that the declarant , in his opinion, was not in his senses. If the person recording the dying declaration is satisfied that the injured person is in his senses, the second thing to be done is to ascertain whether the injured is in a position to speak coherently. If he is satisfied, he may proceed to put any general question or questions to elicit from the injured person as to what happened to him. It is always proper that the questions put by the person recording the dying declaration should also be recorded so that the Court may judge the nature of the questions put.

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The recording should be done in the presence of two independent witnesses unconnected with the case, at the earliest opportunity, preferably in question and answer form, questions also being recorded, recording the same words and in languages spoken by the declarant , with date, time and venue of recording. So far as possible the putting of leading questions should be avoided. The person may record what is said to him by the injured. If during the course of recording of the statement, it becomes necessary to put any question in order to elucidate what is stated by the declarant , it may be permissible to do so. But such questions must be recorded. If the injured person is in a position to append his signature or to put his thumb signature on such a statement, signature or thumb impression should be obtained. If the injured is in his senses, but not in a position to speak by mouth in a coherent way, he may put short questions and answers given by gestures may be noted.

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The contents of the dying declaration are read over to the patients and it is certified that the contents are read over to the patient and he agrees with them. The date, time and place of recording is noted, the declaration is signed by the doctor, the patient and the two witnesses and the report is sent to the magistrate in a sealed cover. If the hands of the victim are badly burnt and neither his signature nor thumb impression could be obtained, this fact should be mentioned by the person recording the statement. Sudden Death before taking thumb impression: The fact that on account of sudden death, the declarant’s thumb impression was taken after his death would not make the declaration inadmissible.

Object Of Recording A Dying Declaration And Its Competence:

Object Of Recording A Dying Declaration And Its Competence The object of recording a dying declaration is to get from the person making the statement the cause of his death or the circumstances of the transactions which resulted in his death. The competence of a dying declaration as an evidence in the court is unquestionable. It is sufficient to form a basis for conviction.

Form Of A Dying Declaration:

Form Of A Dying Declaration A dying declaration should preferably recorded in question and answer form, the questions are also to be recorded, recording the same words and in languages spoken by the declarant . The date, time and place of recording should also be recorded. If during the course of recording of the statement of the injured, it becomes necessary to put any question in order to elucidate what is stated by the declarant , it may be permissible to do so. But such questions must be recorded. If the person cannot write as in cases of burns, his oral statements are recorded. If the patient can neither write nor speak, the recorder may put short questions and answers given by gestures may be noted.

Whether History Recorded By The Doctor At The Time Of Treatment Can Be Taken As A Dying Declaration Or Not :

Whether History Recorded By The Doctor At The Time Of Treatment Can Be Taken As A Dying Declaration Or Not Ideally history recorded by the doctor at the time of treatment should not be taken as a dying declaration, as the patient may give a false history in the beginning and it is assumed that only when a person is about to die he’ll tell truth only. However if the patient suddenly dies during or after taking the history, even though the death was not anticipated, and if there is no other evidence other than this, then in such cases the history may serve as a dying declaration.

Effects Of Burns And Sedatives On The Compos Mentis Of The Patient In Relation To Dying Declaration:

Effects Of Burns And Sedatives On The Compos Mentis Of The Patient In Relation To Dying Declaration In patients with extensive burns, the doctor should certify the condition of the patient before the dying declaration is recorded. If the patient starts going into coma while the dying declaration was being recorded, the declaration can be accepted by the court as the deceased may have been conscious for sometime before death. Where at the time of recording of statement, deceased was shown to have been kept on sedation by doctor on account of extensive burns, the dying declaration cannot be relied upon.

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