‘Dying declaration can be the sole basis of conviction provided the same is consistent.’: Calcutta HC

The division bench consisting of Justice Joymalya Bagchi and Justice Ajay Kumar Gupta of the High Court of Calcutta in the case of  Parimal Sarkar v. State of West Bengal (CRA 349 of 2019 with CRAN 2 of 2023), set aside the conviction of murder. 

Facts of the Case:

On April 2, 2019 and April 3, 2019, the Trial Court convicted the appellant-accused under Sections 302 and 34 of the IPC and sentenced him to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000/-. The appellant filed an appeal with the High Court, challenging the Trial Court’s judgement and decision. 

Judgment Review:

The court noted that the prosecution case entirely hinges on the oral dying declaration of the victim. “As discussed earlier, P.W. 7 stated the victim only named Bhondul as the assailant. Role of the appellant as per P.Ws. 6 and 8 is also not consistent. While P.W. 6 deposed victim stated both Bhondul and appellant assaulted, P.W. 8 claimed victim told them appellant restrained him while Bhondul assaulted. Dying declaration can be the sole basis of conviction provided the same is consistent. When the contents of the dying declaration as per the prosecution witnesses are at variance to one another vis-a-vis the role of the appellant, it would be hazardous to rely on such evidence to come to a finding of guilt against him.”, the Court said. Thus, the court acquitted the appellant by giving him the benefit of the doubt. 

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