If the dying declaration is truthful, voluntary and free from suspicion, it CAN be the basis for conviction: Bombay High Court

Title: Bhagwan Ramdas Tupe v. The State of Maharashtra

Decided on: 28th JULY, 2023

+ CRL.A. 530 OF 2016


Facts of the Case

Bhagwan Ramdas Tupe (BRT) was previously convicted for Murder of one Vithabai, his neighbour and was thereof sentenced to life imprisonment.  BRT appealed to the Aurangabad Bench of Bombay HC and sought acquittal on the basis that there were inconsistencies between the dying declarations of 2 witnesses.

The respondents sought for the dismissal of the appeal for there was no “inconsistency” at all.  According to them the minor details may have been inconsistent, but overall, the story in both the dying declarations and Prime Witnesses is the same.

It was alleged that BRT had poured kerosene and tembha, i.e., burning wood, on Vithabai, due to which she sustained major burn injuries. She had not died instantly, she succumbed to the injuries only 2 months after the incident and before her death she gave her dying declaration to the Inspector.


Should the Dying Declaration of Vithabai be considered the basis for conviction?


The Court decided on the dying declaration made by Vithabai that although she had injuries, she was mentally sound and able to speak. In fact, her dying declaration corroborated with the Prime Witnesses’ story and therefore, the dying declaration made by her was truthful, voluntary and free from any suspicion.

Thus, the Court upheld the conviction and dismissed the appeal.

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Written by – Aparna Gupta, University Law College & Dept. of Studies in Law