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Man cleared of wife's murder as cops fail to take witness' statement

In a relief for a septuagenarian convicted for the murder of his 60-year-old wife, the Bombay high court has reduced the sentence from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

mumbai Updated: Feb 08, 2012 01:44 IST
Mohan K Korappath
Mohan K Korappath
Hindustan Times

In a relief for a septuagenarian convicted for the murder of his 60-year-old wife, the Bombay high court has reduced the sentence from murder to culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

In yet another example of police bungling, the sentence was reduced after it was noted that the statement of the prime witness, the daughter of the convict, was not recorded.

In February 2004, Kakdya Kakara, a Thane resident, had allegedly assaulted his wife Laxmi causing injuries that resulted in her death.

Before the trial court the prosecution had argued that Kakara had intention to kill the victim or at least to cause bodily injuries that were sufficient to cause her death. Their daughter Janaki was in the house at the time of the alleged crime.

According to the prosecution, Kakara had an argument with his wife after she refused to give him money. He then assaulted Laxmi, and later hit her with a stick. Janaki rushed out of the house to call the neighbours for help, however, by then the victim had succumbed to her injuries.

When the case came for appeal before the high court, Kakara's lawyer Arfan Sait submitted that the evidence of the complainant did not disclose in what manner and by which weapon the deceased was assaulted.

Sait pointed out that none of the witnesses had seen the accused assaulting the victim and the daughter's statement was not recorded.

Division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice ML Tahaliyani observed that on the basis of the evidence it was strongly indicated that the deceased was assaulted by the accused. However, as no weapon was used by the accused in the initial stage of the quarrel, there was no way to determine whether he intended to cause injuries sufficient to cause death.

Also, the daughter's statement was not recorded even though her name appeared on the list of witnesses, the court noted while reducing his life sentence to 10 years.

First Published: Feb 08, 2012 01:43 IST