State of Rajasthan Vs.
Parmendra Singh  INSC 882 (4 May 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 183 OF 2003 State
of Rajasthan ....Appellant Versus Parmendra Singh ....Respondent
DR. ARIJIT PASAYAT,
in this appeal is to the judgment of a Division Bench of the Rajasthan High
Court, Jodhpur, directing acquittal of the respondent who faced trial alongwith
two others namely, Smt. Keshar Kanwar and Tara Devi. They faced trial for
alleged commission of offences punishable under Sections 302, 498-A, 201, 120-B
of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (in short the `IPC'). The trial Court acquitted
the accused Keshar Kanwar from the charges relatable to Section 498-A, 302/34,
201/34 and 120-B IPC. The accused Tara Devi was acquitted from the charges
under Section 498-A and 120-B. Respondent Parmendra Singh was acquitted from
the charges under Sections 120-B and 201 read with Section 34 IPC but he was
sentenced to undergo life imprisonment and three years RI for the offences
punishable under Section 302 and 498-A IPC respectively.
version as unfolded during trial is as follows:
On 1st February, 1992
Dr. Khushiram Tewani (PW-30) was working at the post of Medical Officer,
Incharge at Primary Health Centre, Bagaur. In the afternoon on that day S.H.O.,
Bagaur brought Lalita, wife of respondent in burnt and unconscious condition
for medical treatment. Lalita was admitted in the Primary Health Centre by him
and initial treatment was given to her. In this regard, a slip Ex.P-58 was
prepared. Lalita's body was received with more than 80% burn injuries and
considering her condition he could not give her medical treatment due to lack
of resources. Therefore, within half an hour she was referred to District
According to Ex.P-58
at 3.05 in the afternoon Lalita was brought before him.
There were several
statements of the deceased which were treated as dying declarations.
The trial Court found
the accused guilty, convicted and sentenced as noted above basing on the dying
In appeal, the High
Court directed acquittal primarily on the ground that the dying declarations
were not reliable. The Police Regulation relating to recording of dying
declaration was violated and the deceased was not in a position to give her
statement. It was noted that there was great variation between the dying
declarations. There were four dying declarations in fact.
counsel for the appellant-State submitted that in all the dying declarations
name of the husband was mentioned and in all the four dying declarations the
role played by the mother was also described except one where the father-in-law
was named. Learned counsel for the respondent supported the judgment of the
is to be noted that the High Court observed that the first dying declaration
was to be disbelieved on the ground that there was no endorsement that the
deceased was in a fit condition to give statement. The view expressed is clearly
contrary to what has been stated by this Court in Laxman v. State of
Maharashtra [2002 (6) SCC 710]. So far as the non observance of the procedure
laid down in Police Regulation is concerned, this court had occasion to deal
with the nature of the police guidelines. It was observed that mere
non-observance of the procedure indicated does not render the dying declaration
suspect. So far as the first dying declaration is concerned, it was recorded at
about 3.00 p.m. at PHC, Bagaur. The incident was around 2.00 p.m. The first
dying declaration was recorded by the doctor (PW-30). The second was recorded
by the SHO (PW-28). Third was by the Sub-Inspector (PW-15) in the presence of
Dr. A.K. Mathur (PW-11) and two others. Finally, the fourth dying declaration
was recorded before S.S.
Kothari (PW-13) ADM
City, Bhilwara and Puran Chand Gupta, Assistant Collector, Bhilwara in the
presence of Dr. Arvind Malhotra (PW-12). In the last dying declaration it was
noted by the doctor that the patient was in a fit condition to give statement.
is no material to show that the dying declarations were the result of tutoring
or prompting. In all the dying declarations the respondent has been
specifically named, and the role played by him has been categorically described.
being so, the High Court was not justified in directing acquittal.
The same is set
aside. Respondent shall surrender to custody forthwith to serve the remainder
appeal is allowed.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)