SC upholds acquittal of doctor in 31 yr old murder case
Holding that the CBI failed in establishing the guilt, the Supreme Court has upheld the acquittal of an orthopaedic surgeon charged with murdering and dismembering the body of his wife in Belgium during their honeymoon 31 years ago.
A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar rejected CBI's plea that Mahender Singh Dahiya had killed and chopped his wife Namita's body with a butter knife as he suspected her fidelity. CBI's case is that Dahiya murdered his wife Namita, a British national of Indian origin, on the intervening night of May 27 and 28, 1979 -- the very first night of their honeymoon -- in Room No 415, Hotel Arenberg, Brussels, Belgium.
The prosecution claimed that her body, which was cut into several pieces with a butter knife, was found in the trash of Belgium city which was identified by the family. Dhaiya, however, insisted that Namita left him on her own as she wanted to lead her own independent life as their marriage was performed against her wishes.
As the offence took place in a third country, initially the Belgium authorities investigated the crime. Thereafter, the Scotland Yard in London also participated in the investigation as Namita was a British citizen and Dhaiya was keen on settling there with her help.
Namita was working as accounts trainee with the BBC, London. Subsequently, the case was taken up by the CBI which claimed to have arrested the doctor allegedly practising in UP under a pseudo name of Dr M Singh in Lalitpur village. Ultimately, the trial court convicted Dhaiya on March 1, 1999, 20 years after the alleged crime.
But the Delhi High Court acquitted him of charges after holding the CBI of "falsely implicating" him at the behest of the girl's parents. Aggrieved, the CBI had appealed in the apex court.
Dismissing the appeal, the apex court said the CBI was not able to conclusively establish that remnants of a dismembered body actually belonged to Namita.
"We are of the considered opinion that there is no reliable evidence to indicate that the blood that was recovered from the bathroom of room no 415 definitely belonged to Namita. It must be remembered that the only drop of blood that was found was at the base of the bidet, in the bathroom. "The bathroom would be used successively by different tourists occupying the room. This apart, the very recovery of the blood stains from the bidet seems highly doubtful," the bench said pointing out that it was recovered on June 12, 1979, several days after the killing.
Banihal/Udhampur/Jammu Hundreds of vehicles, stranded for four days, were allowed towards Kashmir on Friday night as one way was restored on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway after freshly building a road stretch to replace the one washed away in flash floods, officials said. Senior Superintendent of Police national highway, Shabir Ahmad Malik said while all blockades were removed and traffic cleared, the major problem of washing away of the road patch at Dewal bridge near Samroli on June 21 took three-and-half-days to be cleared.
As part of our 'Walled City dictionary' series that explores the names of Old Delhi places. Despite being a mere courtesan, Anarkali dares Emperor Akbar with a spunky dance. Golcha cinema, in Daryaganj, is screening the digitally coloured version of the classic Mughal-e-Azam. The single-screen hall shut down six years ago (last movie screened was Kahani 2). Golcha came up in 1954. The theatre is now a ghost of its recent past.
The Jammu and Kashmir government has constituted a five-member high-powered panel for overall coordination of G20 meetings to be held in the union territory next year. Acting upon a communique from the Union ministry of external affairs dated June 4, the principal secretary to the J&K government, Manoj Kumar Dwivedi accorded sanction for the constitution of the five-member panel.
The National Investigation Agency on Friday conducted searches at multiple locations in Punjab in the last year's Jalalabad bomb blast case. The NIA conducted searches at 6 locations in the districts of Ferozepur, Fazilka and Tarn Taran and digital devices (mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards, DVRs) , ammunition and other incriminating documents/materials were seized.
Former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said that after the Independence of the country, only for the second time assembly members from J&K can't take part in the presidential elections scheduled for next month. Earlier in 1992, when militancy was at its peak and J&K was under Governor's rule, the erstwhile state had no assembly then so legislators from J&K couldn't participate in the elections for the country's President.