An Analysis of the Admissibility and Reliability of Dying Declarations as Evidence in Criminal Trials

  • Palash Jain
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  • Palash Jain

    Student at University Of Petroleum And Energy Studies, Dehradun, India

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ABSTRACT Dying declarations are statements made by a person who knows that they are about to die and who relate the cause or circumstances of their impending death. These declarations are admissible as exceptions to the hearsay rule, which generally prohibits the admission of out-of-court statements. The rationale for admitting dying declarations is that a person who is about to die is presumed to have no motive to lie, and that their statements are therefore more likely to be truthful. The admissibility of dying declarations is generally subject to several key requirements. First and foremost, the individual making the declaration must possess the awareness of their impending death. Secondly, the statement itself must pertain to either the cause or the circumstances surrounding the declarant's impending demise. Equally crucial is that the statement is offered freely, without any form of coercion or external influence. Additionally, the declaration should ideally take place in the presence of two or more witnesses to validate its authenticity. The reliability of dying declarations, however, remains a case-specific evaluation. Several factors come into play when determining the trustworthiness of such statements. The mental state of the declarant at the time of making the statement is a critical consideration. Moreover, the declarant's physical and mental capacity to provide a dependable statement is taken into account. The circumstances surrounding the statement's issuance, as well as the possible motives behind the declarant's decision to make the statement, are all factors that weigh into the assessment of the declaration's reliability. In essence, the admissibility and reliability of dying declarations hinge on a careful examination of the specific details and context of each case.Dying declarations are generally considered to be reliable evidence, but they are not infallible. As with any type of evidence, the reliability of a dying declaration must be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In addition to the requirements listed above, some jurisdictions also impose additional requirements for the admissibility of dying declarations. For example, some jurisdictions require that the declarant be able to identify their killer. Other jurisdictions require that the dying declaration be corroborated by other evidence. The admissibility and reliability of dying declarations as evidence in criminal trials is a complex and evolving area of law. The requirements for admissibility and the factors that are considered in assessing reliability vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. As a result, it is important to consult with an attorney to determine the admissibility and reliability of a dying declaration in a particular case. Dying declarations are statements made by a person who believes they are about to die, regarding the cause of their death or the circumstances surrounding it. These statements are often used as evidence in criminal trials to establish the identity of the perpetrator and to determine the criminal liability of the accused. However, the admissibility and reliability of dying declarations as evidence in criminal trials have been the subject of much debate in legal circles.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 5, Page 661 - 676


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