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Court acquits woman in couple’s death case


Thane : A shopkeeper has been acquitted by the district court of the charges of abetting suicide of a couple on the basis of the dying declaration given to the police by the victims prior to their death.

Additional Sessions Judge P R Kadam yesterday passed the judgment.

According to the prosecution, the accused Rashmi Bothra had given Arvind Rai the contract for carrying out electrical work in her shop in Kalwa locality here.

After the man completed the work, the woman found out that the material procured by him was in excess of what was actually used by him, the prosecution said.

As per the accused, the labourer had bought material worth Rs 82,103 from the specified electric shop, but the material put to use in the work was of a lesser amount.

Then the woman reportedly started badgering him to return the difference in the two sums of money.

Fed up by the constant harassment, the labourer and his wife Seema Rai allegedly consumed rat poison, following which they died on November 26, 2011, the prosecution alleged.

In their dying declaration given to the police, the duo said they had drunk something thinking it was ‘sharbat’ (refreshing drink).

However, a suicide note was recovered from the duo after that, in which the victims held the accused responsible for their taking the extreme step, he said.

A case was subsequently filed under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC in February, 2012.

In the trial, it emerged that the victims’ dying declaration was obtained much before the couple’s purported suicide note was found, he said.

Also, the deposition of the doctor who was present at the time of the declaration was taken into account, to arrive at the conclusion that the accused had no involvement in the duo’s death.

According to the respondent’s counsel, it was established that the couple did not commit suicide and that there was no question of any harassment.

Observing that the prosecution failed to prove their charges, the accused was acquitted of all charges on the basis of the veracity of the dying declaration, and not of the suicide note.

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