Reported By: Salil Tiwari
Last Updated: June 01, 2023, 23:02 IST
The Allahabad High Court recently upheld the conviction of a man and his lover in the murder case of the man’s wife. The HC noted that the accused had killed the woman by pouring kerosene oil on her and setting her ablaze only because she protested against their illicit relationship.
“…(accused) are not entitled to any leniency from us. Such persons, who are black spot in the society, cannot be set at liberty,” said the division bench of Justice Kaushal Jayendra Thaker and Justice Shiv Shanker Prasad.
The court was dealing with two criminal appeals filed by the accused man and his alleged lover against their conviction under sections 302/120B of the Indian Penal Code. Both the accused-appellants had been sentenced to life imprisonment.
The complaint in the murder case had been filed by the father of the deceased in 2011. He alleged that he had married his daughter to the accused, Jai Kishan alias Bablu, around 14 years ago. However, after a short while, the accused started having an illicit relationship with Anita (the co-accused), which was repeatedly objected to by his daughter.
The father further claimed that on 19th July, 2011, he received information from the village chief over the telephone that at 11:00 pm, his daughter’s husband, his brother, and Anita had poured kerosene on his daughter and set her on fire. Thereafter, the victim was taken to a hospital where she died.
Seeking relief before the high court, the counsel for the accused-appellants, argued that there was no direct evidence connecting them with the commissioning of the crime. The counsel claimed that the victim was a “loose-tempered lady” who used to quarrel with her husband due to suspicion of his illicit relationship, and during one such rage, she had committed suicide by setting herself ablaze.
The counsel further claimed that the prosecution case rested on circumstantial evidence and, also, the star witness in the matter was the 5-year-old son of the couple whose testimony could not be relied upon as he was in the custody of his maternal grandfather.
Therefore, while stating that in view of the inconsistency in the statements of the prosecution witnesses, the prosecution has failed to establish the guilt of the accused-appellants beyond a reasonable doubt, the counsel for them urged that the sentence imposed was excessive and ought not to be sustained and the order of sentence must be modified taking a lenient view in the matter.
The high court noted that the doctor had confirmed that the victim had died due to burning and the son of the couple had specifically implicated his father and accused Anita of killing his mother.
“No child in this country, who loves his mother and father most, will be ready to make allegations against his mother or father at the behest of his maternal grandfather or maternal uncle, until he feels that wrong is done by his father with his mother or by his mother with his father,” the court said.
Further, while noting that the accused-appellants had a strong motive to kill the deceased, the HC observed that the court below had rightly found their guilt proved beyond reasonable doubt by the prosecution.