Mumbai: 21 years on, in-laws get life for killing woman | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Mumbai: 21 years on, in-laws get life for killing woman

mumbai Updated: Sep 30, 2014 22:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Renuka Aushal

More than 21 years after the death of a woman from Buldhana, the Bombay high court (HC) last week sentenced her brother-in-law and his wife to life imprisonment for their involvement in the crime.

On April 7, 1993, Renuka Aushal’s body was found at her matrimonial home in Buldhana. Her husband Satish Aushal, his brother Vilas Aushal and Vilas’ wife Sadhana Aushal claimed she had committed suicide by hanging herself. The police, however, booked the trio for killing the woman and destroying crucial evidence.

On May 10, 2000, an additional sessions judge at Buldhana held that Renuka had committed suicide and acquitted the trio, after which the state challenged the decision in the high court.

The HC bench of justice BP Dharmadhikari and justice CV Bhadang said the evidence and the conduct of the accused after the incident pointed towards their guilt. The judges also noted that the woman’s body was found lying in a room and not hanging, and the medical officer who performed the autopsy had concluded that the woman died of strangulation. Also, there were signs of struggle on Vilas’s body, apart from the absence of satisfactory explanation on the possible reason behind Renuka’s suicide.

“Not lodging a police report and not taking Renuka to any doctor where medical assistance could have been provided to her sufficiently show guilty mind,” the bench said.

Besides, the court also held as false the family’s claim that the woman was taken to a doctor, and she died at the doctor’s clinic.

The Aushal family’s attempt to bribe the staff of the government hospital to not send the body for post-mortem and wiping the body clean to destroy the injury marks and bloodstains also went against them. The bench, however, let off Satish with a five-year term, as there was no cogent evidence suggesting his involvement.

The Case
On April 7, 1993, Renuka Aushal’s body was found at her matrimonial home in Buldhana. Her husband Satish Aushal, his brother Vilas Aushal and Vilas’ wife Sadhana Aushal claimed she had committed suicide by hanging herself. The police, however, booked the trio for killing the woman and destroying crucial evidence.