Dying Declaration

Pushpabai and Uttam, a T.V. Mechanic, got married on 19th March, 1994. It is alleged, Uttam was having an illicit relationship with Kusum Gaikwad. Pushpabai succumbed to her injuries on 31st March, 1995.

Kundula Bala Subrahmanyam v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1993) 2 SCC 684 highlighted significance of a Dying Declaration. Shudhakar v. State of Madhya Pradesh, (2012) 7 SCC 569 opined, once a Dying Declaration is found to be reliable, it can form the basis of conviction. In cases involving multiple Dying Declarations, the problem becomes more knotty when Dying Declarations made are found to be contradictory.

It must be remembered, all four Dying Declarations, two in writing and other two oral, were based on statements given at different times on 27th March, 1995 when Pushpabai had suffered 93% burn injuries and there is serious doubt about her being mentally and physically fit.  

Uttam is entitled to being granted benefit of doubt. To be set at liberty forthwith.

Hon’ble Justice Hima Kohli, Uttam v. State of Maharashtra, [Criminal Appeal No. 485 of 2012].


This so-called “two-finger test” has no scientific basis and neither proves nor disproves allegations of rape. It instead re-victimizes and re-traumatizes women who may have been sexually assaulted, and is an affront to their dignity. It is a regrettable fact, it continues to be conducted even today. Any person who conducts per vaginum examination shall be guilty of misconduct.

A lack of medical evidence as to commission of rape cannot be taken to mean, no rape was committed. There is no rule mandating corroboration of Dying Declarations, through medical or other evidence, when the Dying Declaration is not otherwise suspicious [State of Uttar Pradesh v. Ram Sagar Yadav, (1985) 1 SCC 552].

Hon’ble Justice Dr. D.Y. Chandrachud, State of Jharkhand v. Shailendra Kumar Rai, [Criminal Appeal No. 1441 of 2022] decided on 31.10.2022.