Murder Of the Wife – In The High Court Of Judicature At Bombay Nagpur Bench, Nagpur

The appellant filed a criminal appeal against the State police to review and change the Sessions Court decision of life imprisonment on account of murdering his wife. The learned Judges, VM DESHPANDE AND G. A. SANAP, JJ, dismissed the appeal as the APP of the respondent proved motive to commit murder. The Judgement of SUNIL RAMCHANDRA KHOBRAGADE V. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA was pronounced on 12.01.2022

Facts of the case – The incident occurred on May 2, 2016, at about 7 a.m., in Mouza Shivapur, Bandar. According to the prosecution’s case, the appellant is the spouse of the dead Nirasha. Deceased Nirasha began staying apart from the appellant at her sister’s house in Shivapur Bandar, Taluka Chimur District Chandrapur, three months before the occurrence due to a quarrel between her and the appellant. The accused had gone to the residence of Vandana Khobragade, the deceased’s sister, 15 days before the occurrence to retrieve the corpse. The deceased, on the other hand, refused to live with him. For the appellant to not question her character, the dead moved in with her sister Vandana Khobragade. Vandana Khobragade, the informant, had gone to the forest to harvest Tendu leaves at the time of the occurrence. In the courtyard, the deceased was cleaning kitchenware. Rahul, Vandana Khobragade’s son, was present at the residence. The accused arrived and demanded being accompanied by the deceased Nirasha. He declined to attend to the dead.

The appellant was wielding a razor-sharp pointed iron tocha. The appellant viciously struck the deceased’s chest, forearm, and belly with iron tocha. Rahul arrived to help the dead, but he could not stop the appellant beating him. On the way approaching the residence of one Shri Bandu Dhok, the helpless departed Nirasha began rushing to save her life. The accused pursued her and attacked her with an iron tocha on several occasions. When Shalikram Gharat and Shri Bandu Dhok witnessed the occurrence, they rushed to the appellant’s aid. The dead collapsed near Bandu Dhok’s residence. The injured Nirasha was initially taken to Chimur Government Hospital by the residents. She was then sent to Nagpur General Hospital. However, Nirasha died due to his injuries while on the way.

Shri Dnyaneshwar Gayakwad called Valmik Ramteke, who was in the forest, to inform Vandana, who had gone there to harvest Tendu leaves, about the occurrence. Vandana returned after receiving details about the event. She became aware of the circumstance involving the appellant’s assault on the dead Nirasha. She went to the police station to file a report. A written notice was created. The offense was initially recorded under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code. Meanwhile, a postmortem examination was performed on the deceased at Nagpur General Hospital. Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code was added to the offense upon receiving the postmortem report.

Shri Sumit Joshi learned Advocate of the appellant, drew the Judge’s attention to the evidence of the eyewitnesses, and stated that there are contradictions in their testimony on essential points. The testimony of eyewitnesses is not trustworthy and, as such, cannot be accepted. According to the learned Advocate, the prosecution has failed to prove the accused’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The learned Advocate went over the reasons recorded by the learned Additional Sessions Judge and stated that they are insufficient to uphold the conviction and punishment. Drawing the Judge’s attention to the evidence of the police officer, the learned Advocate argued that the Investigating Officer withheld critical facts in this matter. Hence, the appellant is entitled to benefits on this basis as well.

Smt. Mayuri Deshmukh learned APP for respondent/State submitted the incidence, as well as the appellant’s roughness at the time of the crime, has been shown by eyewitnesses, according to the plaintiff. According to the knowledgeable APP’s argument, all eye witnesses’ testimony is natural and believable. According to the learned APP, the medical evidence has been supported by the oral testimony of eye witnesses. According to the learned APP, Rahul (PW-3) was injured while attempting to stop the accused from assaulting the dead. According to the learned APP, the prosecution has proven beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant intended to commit murder, who drew the Judge’s attention to Exh. 32 and Dr. Laxmikant Sadashiv Rathod’s (PW-14) testimony. According to the learned APP, the Additional Sessions Judge documented sound reasons and condemned the appellant to life imprisonment based on those grounds.

The learned Judge of the High Court concludes that the data on reappreciation and analysis is reliable. Additional Session Judge has noted the reasons in favor of the claim. The Judge sees no cause to interfere with the decision. As a result, the appeal was dismissed.

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Reviewed by Rangasree

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