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Documentary Evidence

    1. Only a registered medical practitioner can give a valid certificate.
    2. If a patient dies the doctor is bound to give death certificate without charging fees.
    3. If the doctor is not sure of the cause of death or in case of suspicion of foul play, the doctor should not give death certificate and the police should be informed.
  2. MEDICOLEGAL REPORTS: -They are reports prepared by the doctor usually in criminal cases e.g. murder, assault, rape, poisoning etc
    They are admitted as evidence in court only when the doctor gives oral evidence on oath.
    1. It is written or oral statement of a person, who is dying due to some unlawful act, relating to the cause of his death.
    2. A magistrate should be called to record the statement.
    3. If the condition of the patient is serious, the doctor or any other person can record the statement in
    4. presence of two witnesses.
    5. The person need not take oath as it is believed that the dying person does not tell lies.
    6. Leading questions should not be asked.
    7. The signature of the declarant should be taken and should also be signed by the doctor and the witnesses.
    8. If the declarant survives he is called to give oral evidence and the dying declaration becomes useless. 
  4. DYING DEPOSITION is superior to DYING DECLARATION because the accused has an opportunity of cross examining the dying person, the person is under oath and the accused is present.
  5. Dying declaration versus Dying deposition


Dying Declaration

Dying deposition


Oath is not administered. 

Oath is administered. 


Cross-examination is not allowed

Lawyer is allowed to cross-examine the witness.

Who can record

It can be recorded by any person including Magistrate, Doctor police officer or even a layman.

Recorded by magistrate in the presence of accused or his lawyer.

Followed in India







  1. It is evidence which is given orally by witness under oath in court of law in connection with the case under inquiry.
  2. It is more important than documentary evidence because in this cross-examination can be done.
  3. It can be
    1. Direct or Circumstantial: evidence of that person who has personal knowledge of facts in relation to the particular incident (eye witness)
    2. Indirect or Hearsay: who has no personal knowledge of facts but repeats what he has heard other says (not permissible in law).
  4. Documentary evidence is accepted without oral evidence in the following condition.
  5. Dying declaration *
  6. Expert opinion expressed in treatise
  7. Evidence of a doctor recorded in a lower court *.
  8. Evidence given by witness in a previous judicial proceeding.
  9. Chemical examiner’s report. *

Types Of Witnesses:

  1. Common witness: is a person who gives evidence about the facts observed by him (first-hand knowledge rule).
  2. Expert witness: he is one who is qualified or experienced in a scientific or technical subject and is capable of giving opinion from the facts observed by him or others. e.g. doctor, finger print expert, hand-writing expert, fire arm expert.
    DOCTOR is a common as well as expert witness. He/ she can volunteer the statement only if ordered to do so.

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