Can the death of an co-accused in a criminal case be intimated and admitted in the trial court in the form of an affidavit in the absence of an death certificate.
Is there any legal precedents.
yasaswi gomes (.) 06 July 2021
Obviously it should be allowed and police must confirm it. How can anyone get hold of a death certificate when one of the accused is not a parent or family? Death certificates portal must be made available for this.
SHIRISH PAWAR, 7738990900 (Advocate) 06 July 2021
One can get a death certificate online. So affidavit is not sufficient to prove the death of co-accused.
Shubham Bhardwaj (Advocate) 06 July 2021
Dear Mr Das,
As per Indian Evidence Act, 1872, affidavit is not evidence unless specifically permitted by the court (please see Section . In a criminal trial, the death of an accused will have to be proved by primary documentary evidence i.e. Death Certificate issued by the competent authority. If a plea is taken in trial court that death certificate is not available the situation can become absurd because every death of a person has to be registered under section 8 of Registration of Birth and Deaths Act, 1969. On registration, a death certificate is issued by the competent authority. Further, if a death is not registered there are consequences. If a death is not registered within 1 years of its occurrence then the death is registered only after an order from Judicial magistrate first class or presidency magistrate. However in any case if there is no documentary evidence then the death will have to be proved by other evidence i.e. testimony of person who is witness to death. But then again any one who alleges death of a person must prove it in accordance with Indian Evidence Act, 1872. (Also See sec 107 & 108 Indian Evidence Act)
Therefore, it will not suffice to say in court that we are presenting affidavit to prove death of Mr 'X' because there is no death certificate.
Shubham Bhardwaj (Advocate)
District & Session Court, Chandigarh
Punjab & Haryana High Court, at Chandigarh.
Disclaimer:- Opinion is only for guidance.
AJIT DAS 07 July 2021
Since the co-accused in person is not a family member or parent we are not able to obtain his death certificate. The trail is in the argument stage and judgement date is to be pronounced soon. what do we do.