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Dying declaration must be in mother tongue: HC
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November 25, 2006 22:10 IST

A dying declaration recorded in a language other than a person's mother tongue was not acceptable as evidence in a court of law, the Calcutta high court has ordered.

A division bench of Justices P N Sinha and P S Dutta observed that the words of a dying person could be distorted while translation.

Citing the above, they acquitted a man sentenced to life imprisonment for allegedly killing his wife.

The order was passed on Tuesday but a certified copy was available only on Friday.

It said that people did not speak in any language other than their mother tongue when they are dying.

The court let off the accused, Fatik Let, and said it could not take into account his illiterate wife's dying declaration, recorded in English in August 1992.

The court found that the dying declarations submitted by the doctors and the police were contradictory.

As per the prosecution's case, Fatik's wife Minati was admitted to the Rampurhat sub-divisional hospital with serious burns. Her dying declaration was recorded by a police officer.

On the basis of a complaint by Minati's brother that Fatik and two others set her on fire, police arrested all three. But they could frame charges only against Fatik.

Fatik had moved the high court after a sessions judge at Rampurhat in Birbhum district convicted him in March 2003.

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