“KOLKATA: The Calcutta HC has held that a dying declaration recorded in a language other than the victim's mother tongue is not acceptable as evidence in a court of law. On Tuesday, a division bench of Justice P N Sinha and Justice P S Dutta of the HC, acquitted a man, who was sentenced to life for alleged murder of his wife. Earlier, a trial court had sentenced Phatik Let — a resident of Kalua village in Birbhum — to life, based on the dying declaration recorded by two doctors in English. The HC not only detected incongruity in the separate 'dying declarations' submitted by the doctors but also noted that the people do not speak in any other language but their mother tongue in their dying moments.”
From a report in The Times of India.
This is how it works. Someone stabs me, and I’m rushed to the nearest hospital by bystanders. In a little while, it is clear that I will not survive. The doctor asks me whether I could make a statement, and I do want to. I want the person who stabbed me to be punished.
So I tell him, “I was walking along the road when John Doe stabbed me with a knife.”
The doctor stops me. He asks me what my mother tongue is. Fighting hard, I try to keep alive for a few minutes more, and tell him, “Tamil.” He tells me I need to make the declaration in Tamil.
As I’m dying, I have to remember a language that I hardly speak?
And providentially at hand should be someone who can both understand AND write Tamil?
And If these two conditions are not met my murderer gets away scotfree?
And the law is not an ass?