Pune woman, lover acquitted, Mumbai court rules they had no ‘intent’ to kill her husband
Based on the two children’s eyewitness account, court rules that the accused did not hatch a conspiracy to commit the murderUpdated: Dec 23, 2017 12:43 IST
A sessions court acquitted a woman of murder charges, after she was booked for killing her husband with the help of her lover. Observing that there was no intent to kill, it instead convicted Ranjana Rathod and Bajarang Bal for culpable homicide. They have been sentenced to five years’ prison and must also pay a fine of Rs2,000.
According to the prosecution, Ranjana, her husband Manohar, and their three children — Payal, Jayashree and Aakash — live in Pune.
The couple and two of their children had come to Mumbai on a tour in 2014. On June 23, they were travelling to the railway station in an autorickshaw, accompanied by Bajarang to return to Pune. Payal and Aakash, who were eye-witnesses to the incident, said their father was under the influence of alcohol and had been verbally abusing their mother.
The children deposed before the court saying that they alighted at Bandra bridge. Ranjana and Bajarang started assaulting Manohar and pushed him towards a gutter. The children said their mother pushed their father, while Bajarang smashed his head with a stone.
They said the two returned to the spot to check if Manohar was dead and only then boarded the train.
While the children stuck to their story, defence lawyers — advocate Prakash Salshingekar representing Ranjana and Wahab Khan representing Bajarang — said the police had tutored them.
The prosecution said the children did not have any reason to depose against their mother. The court held that Manohar’s death was homicidal.
“Payal and Aakash’s testimonies make it clear that Ranjana and Manohar had quarrelled in the auto, which is why they alighted. Thus, it cannot be said that the accused hatched a conspiracy to commit the murder and that there was any intention to kill him,” the court observed.
First Published: Dec 23, 2017 00:09 IST