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Kodadi Srinivasa Lingam And Anr. vs The State Of Andhra Pradesh on 18 July, 2002

Kodadi Srinivasa Lingam And Anr. vs The State Of Andhra Pradesh on 18 July, 2002Equivalent citations: JT 2002 (6) SC 200 Bench: M Shah, B P Singh

ORDER

1. Heard the learned counsel for the parties.

2. This appeal, by special leave, is against the judgment and order dated 23rd October, 2000 of the High Court of Andhra Pradesh, passed in criminal appeal No. 494/1999, confirming the conviction and sentence of the appellant passed by the sessions judge, Warangal in sessions case No. 471 of 1995 under Section 498A and 302 IPC.

3. The order passed by the High Court, in our view, does not call for interference as the High Court has rightly relied upon the evidence of the PW-1 and PW-3 who are the parents of the deceased, who have stated before the court that as soon as they reached the hospital they found the deceased with burn injuries and with regard to the incident on inquiry, their daughter told them that accused 1 and 2 poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. In our view, there is no reason pointed out either in the cross-examination of the witness or at the time of hearing that their evidence was, in any way, unreliable. The trial court as well as the High Court after appreciating the evidence has also recorded the finding that the accused were guilty for the offence punishable under Section 498A of the IPC. The suggestion made to these witnesses was limited to the extent that it was not true to say that the deceased did not tell them that A-1 and A-2 poured kerosene over the deceased and set her on fire. It was also suggested that it was not true that she informed them that she received burn injuries as she attempted to commit suicide in order to threaten A-1 and A-2 as they insisted to take her to Ellandu where her parents-in-laws resided. Considering this aspect, in our view, there is no substance in this appeal.

4. In this view of the matter, it is not necessary to consider the contention raised by the learned counsel for the respondent that the reasoning recorded by the High Court that the law requires that the dying declaration must be attested by a medical officer certifying the mental state of the patient stating that she was mentally fit to give dying declaration is erroneous. The reason is – it is well settled that oral dying declaration can be relied upon and be the basis for convicting the accused. To what extent oral or written dying declaration could be relied would always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Therefore, we do not think the enunciation of law with regard to dying declaration is accurate. Further, there is no statutory provision which requires that dying declaration recorded by the judicial magistrate or executive magistrate must be attested by a medical officer certifying the mental state of the patient. However, in the facts and circumstances of this case this question is not required to be dealt with or decided.

5. In the result, this appeal is dismissed.

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