Dying Declaration: Meaning and Definition

According to the general rule of law, untested or unproven evidence is not admissible in a court of law. Thus, the administration of the oath and the cross-examination of witnesses and evidence are crucial. We can therefore conclude that hearsay testimony is not acceptable in a court of law. However, there is now a legal exemption to this fundamental rule because it is necessary to give individuals justice, for example. On his deathbed, the person made a statement outlining the reasons for the events leading up to his passing.

In our society, it is thought that someone who is about to pass away on their deathbed will express the truth, and his or her words will have enormous worth. Considering that ignoring such declarations would result in injustice, our law of evidence has a great term for them called the "Dying Declaration."

What Is Dying Declaration?

The phrase "words pronounced before death" or "leterm mortem" is the root of the phrase "dying proclamation." It is a declaration made by a person just before passing away. It includes the specifics or causes of the death.

As a result, this declaration is known as the "Dying Declaration." It may take any form, either written or oral. This declaration is also acceptable and will be considered evidence in court.

Nemo moriturus praesumitur mentire, which essentially implies that a man will not meet his maker with a falsehood in his mouth, is the basis for this assertion. It simply means that a man who is about to die won't lie.

In accordance with Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act, certain conditions must be met in order for a witness who is deceased, unable to testify in court, unable to appear in person at the trial of the case due to delay, or whose absence cannot be verified.

These conditions include: they must be related to the cause of the witness's death, they must be unable to be located at a specific time without incurring additional costs, they must be made in the course of some business, they must not be made in the cause of some business, it must not be related to the maker's interests; there must be some sort of relationship; it must be related to wills, deeds, or family matters; it must be giving an opinion on a matter of public right, custom, or general interest; it must be made by several people, expressing feelings toward the same topic; it must be a matter in question; or it must be related to a transactional document related to Section 13 clause a.

An example of a conflict between A and B is when A stabs B and B drops. When C asks B after spotting him on the ground, B replies that A had stabbed him, making C's remark a dying declaration that allows C to go to court.

Components of a Dying Declaration

Section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act provides illustrations of the components of a dying declaration. A dying declaration is the following, as defined by Section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act −

  • Written or spoken,

  • Relevant information,

  • Made by a deceased individual.

Such a statement is pertinent if it is made by the individual in relation to −

  • The reason for his demise.

  • Anything about the deal that contributed to his passing.

Such claims are pertinent −

  • Whether the individual who created them was or wasn't expecting to die at the time they were created.

  • Regardless of the type of procedure where the cause of death is in doubt.

Forms of Dying Declaration

Oral or written declarations of death are also acceptable. Sections 32 and 33 of the Evidence Act are the exceptions to the rule that oral pieces of evidence are always directly admissible. Even so, they represent an exception to the rule that hearsay evidence is inadmissible. First-hand hearsay evidence and second-hand hearsay evidence are two different types of hearsay evidence.

First-person hearsay evidence must be corroborated, and it may even be put under oath and subjected to cross-examination by the opposing party, in order to be considered conclusive. The derivative evidence is second-hand hearsay information. When the opposite party is unavailable, these serve as the actual (best) evidence. Due to its circumstantial genuineness, this additional party is not required to take an oath or undergo a cross-examination of the document. The gestures also play a role in the pronouncement of death.

Provision Concerning the Declaration in Law of Evidence for The Dead

Section 32, clause 1, of the law of evidence makes reference to dying declarations. According to Section 32 (1) of the Indian Evidence Act, "the statement made with respect to the cause of his death or indicates the circumstances that led to his death or informs the transaction that resulted in the loss of life when the causes leading to his death arise in the question frame."

When the individual who made the remark is alive or dead, to which it is expected that death was caused, and the nature of the case arises with a question about the cause of death of that specific person, the court says those comments are relevant.

Value Of Dying Declaration

Although the judicial magistrate is not required to record the declaration of death, if that's the case, a recording made by a judge has more significance than one made by a police officer. If the death statement is recorded by the judicial magistrate, no supporting documentation is required.

Who Should Record the Dying Declaration

A dying declaration, normally, can be recorded by −

Recorded by a Normal Person

A normal person can write down a declaration of death. The court cannot dismiss the dying person's statement made before the normal person, as in some situations where the judicial magistrate, police officer, and doctor are not present.

However, regardless of whether the statement is recorded by a judicial magistrate, doctor, or police officer, the person who does so must demonstrate that the deceased was conscious and in a sound state of mind at the time. The testimony is admissible in a legal proceeding.

Recorded by the Doctor or A Police Officer

If there isn't enough time to call the magistrate due to the declarant's deteriorating condition, the doctor or a police officer can record the statement. But there must also be a requirement that at least one or two witnesses be present while the statement is being recorded. Otherwise, the court might consider the statement to be suspicious.

The witness clarifies that the deceased was in a competent state of mind and conscious to make the declaration, contradicting the doctor's statement that the declarant was not in a stable condition and his testimony would not be taken as evidence.

Recorded by the Magistrate

When the deceased's statement is recorded by a qualified magistrate, who is supposed to be knowledgeable about how the dying declaration should be documented and to be impartial, it is deemed credible and to have evidential value. Additionally, the magistrate is authorised by Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code to record the dying declaration.


As a result, we can infer from the foregoing that a "dying declaration" is a declaration made by a person who is about to die. Since it is assumed that a person will not lie on his deathbed, the reasons he gives for dying are real, as are the justifications he gives.

If the declaration is written down by the magistrate and proven beyond a reasonable doubt, it has admissible value in court. As a result, it is crucial that the victim receive justice when there is no other witness available.


Q1. Can a dying declaration be accepted without corroboration?

Ans. Without supporting evidence, a dying declaration can be trusted, but it must be carefully examined. However, in other words, it is circumstantial not an absolute acceptance.

Q2. Can a doctor record a dying declaration? And, is deathbed confession admissible in court?

Ans. Yes, doctors can a record dying declaration and under the correct circumstances, a confession made on one's deathbed may be accepted in court as evidence.