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Aakritu   02 March 2022

Legal maxim

Where does the maxim "Nemo Moritus Praesumitur Mentire" finds its use?


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Aarushi   02 March 2022

The maxim of Nemo Moriturus Praesumitur mentire tells that a man will not meet his maker with a lie in his mouth. This basically states that a man who is on the verge of dying will not lie and thus his words are trustworthy and hold a certain amount of truth to it. Thus, a declaration from a person who is on the death bed, is a very strong piece of evidence. If such dying declarations are supported by witnesses, it becomes crucial for the case and even helps in deciding conviction. These statements from the dying person should be treated as though the person is present in the Court and they are making the statement before the Court keeping in mind that the statement has not been made under an oath and thus is not subjected to Cross examination. Although hearsay evidence is prohibited in the Court of Law, this maxim finds its use in Section 32(1) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. According to this section, the statements by a dying person shall be considered as a fact if it is in relation to his death in cases where the cause of death becomes of important. These dying declarations must only be made by someone who is in a mentally fit condition and should be made voluntarily by the dying person. It should also be noted that the dying declaration must be noted in the presence of or attested by a Magistrate or Doctor. If the said declaration has been recorded by the Investing Officer (IO), it does not hold much value to it, since the IO is also concerned with solving the case and hence can be biased. The declarations recorded by an IO will only be considered in cases where it is absolutely impossible to get a doctor or Magistrate to be present while the statement has been taken. It is entirely in the hands of the Court to scrutinise the declaration and only then consider it. If the Court finds any infirmity with the declarations, it is at a liberty to keep the declaration aside.

Kundula Bala Subrahmanyam v. State of Andhra Pradesh

In this case, there was a dying declaration of the dead victim before her death that her death was caused by the appellant by putting her on fire. The Supreme Court scrutinise the dying declarations by the victim which were backed by proper witnesses and held that the dying declarations made were legitimate and hence were accepted by the Apex Court.


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