Man Accused Of Wife’s Murder As Witness To Whom Extra-Judicial Confession Was Given Turned Hostile Acquitted: Bombay High Court

A man convicted of the murder of his wife as the person to whom he had made an extra-judicial confession of having murdered her had turned hostile was acquitted by the Bombay High Court through Justices Sadhana S. Jadhav and Milind N. Jadhav in the case of Suresh Ladak Bhagat v The State of Maharashtra (CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.9 OF 2014)


Witness No. 1 said that he was notified by someone that the accused had murdered his wife. He went to confirm this and discovered the accused in his residence, sat near his wife’s dead body, which was lying in a pool of blood. He adds that during an investigation, the accused informed him that when he arrived home from a relative’s house, his wife did not open the door. He entered via the window and saw her comfortably asleep. He then hit her on the head and back. Later, he paid no attention to her, and the next morning, at 6 a.m., he discovered she was dead. Witness number one reported this to the police, and a charge sheet was filed.

Witness No. 1 did not attest concerning the disclosure statement made by the accused to him in his substantive evidence, but he did depose before the Court that upon enquiry about the stated occurrence, the accused told him that his wife was deceased. As a result, the witness was labelled hostile. A bamboo stick was also retrieved at the request of the accused, according to the prosecution.


The court remarked that this was afterwards interpolated, much like filling in the blanks. Nothing has been proven in line with the law, nor can it be asserted that the bamboo stick seized at the accused’s request was used to abuse his deceased wife. The court stated that, aside from the fact that the deceased’s body was discovered in his home, there is no other evidence to support the conclusion that he hurt his wife. In the particular instance, the court ruled that the accused could not be convicted based on a statement allegedly provided by a hostile witness. As a result, he was acquitted.


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