Fifteen years after the death of his wife, Aklak Ahmed Fakruddin Patel will now be prosecuted for abetting her suicide as well as murder.
The Bombay High Court last Tuesday dismissed Patel’s plea challenging merging of the two cases and prosecuting him for the two charges in a single trial.
Patel’s counsel had contended that under section 218 of the Criminal Procedure Code, for every distinct offence, there should be a separate charge, and hence a separate trial.
However, a single judge bench of justice Roshan Dalvi discarded the contention saying, “In such a case, more offences than one committed by the same person can be tried in a single trial.”
Justice Dalvi further noted that trying Patel separately would be grossly inconvenient.
Patel was first booked under sections 498A (cruelty committed at matrimonial home) and section 306 (abetment to commit suicide), when his wife, Rehana, committed suicide in November 1995. Later, her father filed a case in the court alleging it was a case of murder.
Thereafter, the sessions court at Dindoshi decided to merge the two cases and try him in a single trial for both the offences registered against him. On April 16, 2010, the court framed charges against Patel, who was the only accused left in both the cases.
This decision of the court was challenged by Patel, which the high court refused to allow.