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HC acquits man who killed wife, says evidence is “fragile”

Bombay High Court

Observing that the evidence was “fragile”, the Bombay High Court has acquitted a 50-year-old man who was sentenced to life imprisonment

Bombay-High-Court-Mumbai-1Mumbai: Observing that the evidence was “fragile”, the Bombay High Court has acquitted a 50-year-old man who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court on the charge of killing his wife by setting her on fire.

A bench of Justices Anuja Prabhudessai and P V Hardas, on July 4, acquitted Raju Adangale, a resident of Nasik, of the murder charge under IPC and set aside life imprisonment punishment awarded to him by a sessions court six years ago.

Raju was awarded life term in jail on July 28, 2008 for setting his wife Sharda afire at their house following a domestic quarrel on February 14, 2007. Sharda was admitted to hospital with burn injuries. She died four days later.

The court held that the prosecution could not prove that the two dying declarations given by the victim to a police head constable and Special Executive Magistrate were read out to her and confirmed.

Moreover, the oral dying declaration by the victim to her son-in-law was fragile in the absence of any corroborative evidence to support her version that her husband had set here on fire.

“In the absence of such evidence, both the dying declarations cannot be made the foundation for sustaining the conviction,” said the judges.

The Judges further noted that a disclosure was made by injured Sharda to the Medical Officer who had examined her. However, the Medical Officer was not examined by the prosecution.

The medical case papers do not disclose that the history was narrated by the injured.

“In the absence of the Medical Officer as well as in the absence of a specific statement that the history was narrated by the injured, the dying declaration made to the Medical Officer cannot be used by the prosecution.”

“Thus, the only piece of evidence which can be relied upon by the prosecution is the oral dying declaration made by injured Sharda to her son-in-law Prashant in hospital. But this is fragile as there is no corroborative evidence”, the bench said.

PTI

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