Read Order: Basant Singh @ Baba Basanta v. State Of Punjab
Chandigarh, March 25, 2022: While dealing with an anticipatory bail plea, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the information given by the deceased to the his wife (complainant) disclosing the cause of injuries sustained by him which eventually resulted in his death, is to be considered as a dying declaration under Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872.
The Bench of Justice Vinod S. Bhardwaj added, “There is no reason to disbelieve the information given by the deceased to the complainant-his wife at the relevant point of time. The said information related to the events which eventually led to his death and hence can be construed as dying declaration at this stage under Section 32 of the Evidence Act.”
The instant second petition was filed under Section 438 of the Cr.P.C. for seeking concession of anticipatory bail in an FIR registered under Section 302 and 306 r/w Section 34 of IPC.
As per the complainant’s case, her husband went to Dera on September 20, 2021, and the next day when he returned, he informed the complainant that the petitioner along with the other accused inflicted injuries upon him.
Consequently, he was taken to Civil Hospital, Amritsar, from where he was referred to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital on September 29, 2021. However, the complainant and her son did not take him to the referred Hospital. Resultantly, on December 10, 2021, the injured victim succumbed to his injuries.
The petitioner’s counsel made reference to the post mortem report of the deceased to submit that the injuries were on the underlying bones of the tibia and fibula, and the fracture and organized clots were found present adjoining the muscles on account of infiltration of blood and swelling. With this, the counsel argued that the injuries were on non-vital parts and that as per the opinion of the Board of Doctors rendered after receipt of Histopathology examination, the cause of death in the case was a multi-organ failure as a result of Septicemia which was on account of delayed complications of injuries sustained.
The counsel further submitted that in any case, the injuries not being on the vital organs of the body, an offence under Section 302 would not be attracted and it would at best be an offence under Section 304. He further contended that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was not warranted in the instant case.
After considering the submissions of the Counsel, the Court observed from the FIR that the deceased informed the complainant on September 21, 2021 about the injuries that he received the previous day at the instance of the petitioner and his co-accused. The Court also noted that it is not a matter of dispute that the petitioner was under continuous treatment post sustaining the injuries. The complications that arose on account of delayed medical treatment or inability on the part of the complainant to provide for the best medical treatment, as may be available to any person of means, was only one of the aggravating causes, asserted the Bench.
Also, the Court did not find the proximity of injuries sustained and the ultimate death of the deceased to be remote. In so far as the question of offence that may be finally made out and as to whether it should be under Section 304 IPC or under Section 302 IPC, the Court was of the view that the same was a matter of investigation and the Court noted that it could not conclude that custodial interrogation of the petitioner was not warranted.
Additionally, the Court opined that the statement given by the deceased to his wife reflected on the events which eventually led to his death and hence it was considered as a dying declaration under Section 32 of the Evidence Act.
Thus, considering the gravity of the offence as well as the nature of injuries sustained by the deceased, coupled with the fact that the deceased specifically attributed his injuries to the petitioner, the Bench dismissed the petition.