Dying declaration is relevant only when the cause of death is under enquiry

Madras High Court: In the instant case, the petitioner was convicted u/s. 306 and S. 498A IPC for compelling his wife to commit suicide within 7yrs of their marriage. The conviction was based upon the dying declaration of the petitioner’s wife. The Court while perusing the arguments of both the sides observed that a dying declaration is relevant only when the cause of death is under enquiry. For an offence under Section 306 IPC, the dying declaration is relevant because the cause of death is under enquiry. Therefore, the trial Court was right in relying upon the dying declaration for the conviction.

Placing reliance on Kantilal Martaji Pandor v. State of Gujarat, (2013) 8 SCC 781, the Court held that in this criminal revision petition, the enquiry is not in relation to the cause of death of the wife, but only whether the accused had inflicted cruelty on her as defined under Section 498A IPC therefore, the dying declaration cannot be used as a piece of evidence against the accused. Muniasamy v. State, CRL.R.C. (MD)No. 239 of 2012, decided on June 13, 2014

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