The Telegraph
Thursday , March 20 , 2014
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Dying words could be lies: SC

New Delhi, March 19: The Supreme Court has acquitted four members of a family of murder after taking the view that the deceased falsely implicated her in-laws of setting her ablaze.

The court said a dying declaration was usually relied upon, but in this case the deceased appeared to have named — for “inexplicable reasons” — six members of her in-laws’ family.

“It is true that when a person is on his or her death bed, there is no reason to state a falsehood but it is equally true that it is not possible to delve into the mind of a person who is facing death,” the court said.

“In the present case, the death of Asha Devi and the circumstances in which she died are extremely unfortunate but at the same time it does appear that for some inexplicable reason she put the blame for her death on all her in-laws without exception.”

A bench of Justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and Madan B. Lokur passed the recent judgment while acquitting four members of the family convicted for the murder of Asha Devi in Haryana’s Jagdhari district in April 1996. Two members have died.

Both the trial court and Punjab and Haryana High Court had convicted the six.

However, the apex court noted that there was enough material to prove that two of them — a brother-in-law and his wife — were residing in Haryana’s Pinjore at the time of the murder based on the man’s office attendance records. It then decided to give the other two surviving persons the benefit of doubt and acquit them.