Dying declaration not sole criterion for conviction: HC

A dying declaration cannot be the sole criterion for conviction, Bombay HC has observed. "The criminal court has to bear in mind that if two views are possible, one favourable to the accused should be adopted to prevent miscarriage of justice," Justices Pratap Hardas and Ashok Bhangale of the Nagpur bench of HC said and acquitted a woman accused of killing another. Sharifabi (66) of Amravati was convicted by a sessions court on October 14 last year of setting Shaydabi on fire. She was sentenced to life based on the dying declaration of the victim. Sharifabi challenged the verdict. Her lawyer Rajendra Daga contended the trial court erred in relying solely on dying declaration. While the incident occurred at around 2 pm, the declaration was recorded at 8.15 pm. "The time lapse gives scope for tutoring, prompting and imagination," Daga said.

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