Question: Evidentiary value of a dying declaration made in Tamil, translated in Hindi by a Tamil knowing doctor and recorded in Hindi by Magistrate who does not understand Tamil. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Evidentiary value of a dying declaration made in Tamil, translated in Hindi by a Tamil knowing doctor and… Read More »

Question: Evidentiary value of a dying declaration made in Tamil, translated in Hindi by a Tamil knowing doctor and recorded in Hindi by Magistrate who does not understand Tamil. Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Evidentiary value of a dying declaration made in Tamil, translated in Hindi by a Tamil knowing doctor and recorded in Hindi by Magistrate who does not understand Tamil.] Answer There is no doubt that if the evidentiary value of a dying declaration is...

Question: Evidentiary value of a dying declaration made in Tamil, translated in Hindi by a Tamil knowing doctor and recorded in Hindi by Magistrate who does not understand Tamil.

Find the answer to the mains question only on Legal Bites. [Evidentiary value of a dying declaration made in Tamil, translated in Hindi by a Tamil knowing doctor and recorded in Hindi by Magistrate who does not understand Tamil.]

Answer

There is no doubt that if the evidentiary value of a dying declaration is recorded in the words of the injured would be the best dying declaration. However, it is not possible that always exact words of the injured can be insisted upon.

As far as the language of the statement of the dying declarant is concerned, it should be recorded in the language of the declarant in which he is usually speaking or is fluent or if it may possibly then in Court language. The court can’t reject the dying declaration solely on the basis of the language in which it was made.

As a matter of prudence, the statement of the deceased can be recorded in any language. Even if the dying statement is made by the deceased in Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu languages, it would hold the same probative value as the native language of the deceased and thus the statement made in some other language than of the accused could not be denied on the sole ground that it was recorded in Urdu.

Even in the instance when the statement was given by the declarant in Urdu and the magistrate recorded it in English, then in such cases taking extra precaution while explaining every statement to the deceased by another person, was declared that the statement was a valid dying declaration.

If the dying declaration is made in different languages

When two dying declaration was recorded in two different languages one in Marathi and the other in Hindi and the facts shows that the deceased was proficient in both languages, the statement could be the basis of conviction as it was held in the case of Amar Singh Munna Singh Suryavanshi v. State of Maharastra [AIR 2008 SC 479].

Where the deceased made the statement in Kannada & Urdu languages, it was held that the statement could not be discarded on that ground alone, or on the ground that it was recorded only in Kannada. Where the statement was in Telugu & the doctor recorded it in English but the precaution of explaining the statement to the injured person by another doctor was taken, the statement was held to be a valid dying declaration.

It has been held by the Apex Court in Baksish Singh v. State of Punjab [1957 AIR 904] that merely because the very words uttered by the injured are not reproduced, it is no reason to reject the dying declaration if the Court is otherwise satisfied that the dying declaration, as recorded, correctly reproduces what was stated by the injured.

Relying on the law laid down in this case, the H.P. High Court in State of H.P. v. Gopi 1985 Cri LJ 984 (sic) has held that statement made in one language and recorded in another language is legal. In Srinivasa and ors. v. State (2005) 9 SCC 327, the declarant and recorder of dying declaration were not speaking the same language. The dying declaration was therefore recorded with the help of a translator.

The correctness of the translation was confirmed by the Doctor who knew both languages. In the circumstances, it was held by the Apex Court that the veracity of the dying declaration stands established.

The Supreme Court in Tehal Singh v. State of Punjab [AIR 1979 SC 1347] has held that the substance of the dying declaration written in the words of the writer attaches no infirmity. It would be clear from the above that it is not the law under the Indian Evidence Act that the exact words uttered by the injured need always be reproduced. Even a translated version, if the same is found to be a correct version of the statement of the injured can be acted upon.

Thus, in the present case at hand, when the dying declaration was made in Tamil, translated in Hindi by a Tamil knowing doctor and recorded in Hindi by Magistrate who does not understand Tamil, will hold good evidentiary value and can be acted upon provided the correctness of the translated statement was established.


Important Mains Questions Series for Judiciary, APO & University Exams

  1. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-I
  2. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-II
  3. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-III
  4. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IV
  5. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-V
  6. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VI
  7. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VII
  8. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-VIII
  9. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-IX
  10. Law of Evidence Mains Questions Series Part-X
Updated On 2021-11-13T10:48:35+05:30
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