A murder convict, serving a life sentence got relief from the Bombay high court after it ruled that the weapon of a murder, which was a stick, was not deadly and that the accused did not intend to murder.
A division bench of justice VK Tahilramani and justice PD Kode reduced the life sentence of convict Kurshid Khan to seven years. He has now been convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The prosecution said Khan was married to Majida for a few years before the July 2006 incident. The couple have two children, a daughter and a son.
About four months before the incident, Khan divorced Majida and had started living separately. Majida moved to Dharavi into a chawl that belonged to her deceased brother. The brother’s children also lived with her.
On July 10, 2006, Khan entered Majida's house carrying a plastic bag that contained the stick and started assaulting her.
Her nephew Mohamed Bilal was witness to the event.
Bilal rushed to a relative’s house and informed them about the incident. When they reached Majida’s house, they saw Khan leaving.
Majida, who had suffered a head injury, was taken to Sion Hospital, where she died the same day. Khan was arrested after the cause of death was described as a haemorrhage shock following a cerebral injury
During the trial, Khan pleaded not guilty and argued that he had been falsely implicated. He was however sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of murder.
A legal aid lawyer appointed for Khan, Arfan Sait, countered that even though Khan had assaulted Majida on the head with a wooden stick, he had no intention of killing her.
Sait pointed out that the stick used by Khan was just around 13 inches long and 3 cm in diameter.
Arguing that the size of the stick did not qualify it as deadly and cited a Supreme Court judgment in a similar case, which the high court applied while commuting Khan’s sentence.