Som Nath Vs. State of Haryana  INSC
59 (31 March 1980)
VENKATARAMIAH, E.S. (J)
CITATION: 1980 AIR 1226 1980 SCR (3) 280 1980
SCC (3) 301
Indian Evidence Act Section 32-Dying
The petitioner was found guilty of burning
his wife by the Court below. By Special Leave Petition, the Petitioner sought
to discredit the dying declarations.
Dismissing the Petition,
HELD: Concurrent findings of fact cannot be
disturbed on enormity of improbability. The dying declarations under Section 32
of the Evidence Act, are the groaning utterances of a dying woman in the grip
of dreadful agony which cannot be judged by the standards of fullness of
particulars which witnesses may give in other situations. To discredit such
dying declarations for shortfalls here and there or even in many places, is
unrealistic, unnatural and unconscionable, if basically there is credibility.
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Special
Leave Petition (Crl.) No. 3478 of 1979.
From the Judgment and order dated 10-8-1979
of the Punjab & Haryana High Court in Criminal Appeal No. 427/77.
N.C. Talukdar, J.P. Malhotra and J.D. Jain
for the Petitioner.
The order of the Court was delivered by
KRISHNA IYER, J., Wife burning-that atrocious species of murder horrendously
escalating in some parts of this country-is the shocking crime proved,
according to two courts, by the prosecution in this case. Concurrent findings
of fact cannot be disturbed save on enormity of improbability which we are
unable to see in the present case. The three dying declarations corroborated by
other circumstances are sufficient in our view to bring home the offence.
Counsel has sought to discredit these declarations relevant under s. 32 of the
Evidence Act forgetting that they are the groaning utterances of a dying woman
in the grip of dreadful agony which cannot be judged by the standards of
fullness of particulars which witnesses may give in other situations. To
discredit such dying declarations for shortfalls here or there or even in many
places is unrealistic, unnatural and unconscionable if basically there is
credibility. The terrible in this case has taken place in the house and in the
presence of the husband who has been convicted. We hardly see any reason for
interfering with this conviction, and would have been shocked ourselves if any
other course had been adopted either by the trial court or by the High Court.
Gender justice has a high place in Indian criminal jurisprudence.
N.K.A. Petition dismissed.