The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, bench of justices Ravindra Gauge and BU Debadwa, reduced the conviction from death sentence to life imprisonment for killing his mother-in-law, his unborn child and attempt to murder his wife. The Trial court had awarded the death penalty to the man.
“Hai maujazan ek kulzum-e-khoon kaash yahi ho Aataa hai abhi dekhiye kya kya mere aage – Mirza Ghalib”, the bench quoted.
The bench while observed the crime a ‘heinous and condemnable’ but granted relief considering the accused state of mind.
“No doubt, the crime is heinous and condemnable. However, we do not find that the appellant Krishna has committed a barbaric and cold blooded act and has not attacked the ladies with such ferocity and brutality, that it would send shivers down the spine of a man, sufficient for demanding that such an appellant deserves to be deprived of his life, not only to punish him, but to deter such murders”, the bench said.
The prosecution submission
- The accused, Krishna was doubting the character of his wife
- Because of his domestic violence, Lalita returned back to her parental home while being six months pregnant, expecting a second child.
- On 24.10.2015, the accused Krishna reached the parental house of Lalita and insisted on taking her. The bench noted that, ‘he was returned empty handed and humiliated with the dictate that he should bring his parents along with him to Ambad and both the families would discuss and resolve the issue.’
- On the same day afternoon, Krishna assualted his mother-in-law, his pregnant wife and wife’s aunty with a knife. The mother-in-law died while the two survived from the attack.
The Trial Court held Krishna guilty under IPC sections 302,307 and 316, and awarded him death sentence, considering it a “rarest of rare” case.
The bench noted learned APP submission that, Alka gives contradictory statement, that the assailant had covered his face who assaulted the three ladies.
“while the three ladies were standing near Mahaveer chowk, one motorcycle rider, with his face covered by a handkerchief, came there and assaulted the three ladies, that except his eyes, his face was not visible and that she cannot identify the assailant. The police never recorded her statement when she was in the hospital. In paragraph 6, she has stated that ‘according to me, what I stated in my examination-in-chief is false one and what I stated in my cross-examination today is true one'”.
The learned APP further submitted that that Alka’s statement are false as the seizure of weapons establishes the guilt of the accused Krishna.
“The discovery and seizure of the knife-murder weapon, during his physical search (अंग झडती), establishes that the theory of an unknown assailant attacking the three ladies put forth by Alka for the first time before the Trial Court, is apparently false and Alka has indulged in perjury.”
The bench did not find merit in the submission of the learned counsel for the appellant that Lalita has framed her husband merely because he used to ill treat her. It was also not observed as submitted that her alleged paramour had killed her mother, her baby and had inflicted stab injuries to her.
The bench said that, when he returned empty handed from his in-laws house, this seems to have hurt his ego, may have thought of teaching her a lesson.
“he was returned empty handed and humiliated with the dictate that he should bring his parents along with him to Ambad and both the families would discuss and resolve the issue. This seems to have hurt his ego having been insulted. These thoughts may have been carried by him in his mind and as a consequence of which, he returned with a knife with the intention of teaching a lesson to his wife and his mother-in-law.”
The bench also said that, “He should have overcome his anger”.
“owing to the anger that he carried in his head, he may have overcome his sense of reason which led to his stabbing the three ladies with a single weapon. We cannot ignore that this brutal attack resulted in the death of a woman in her mid forties and a child who was about to see her first day on earth. No doubt, the crime is heinous and condemnable.”
The bench convicted Krishna for murdering Sumanbai, punishable under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, for attempting to murder Lalita, punishable under Section 307 of the Indian Penal Code and is sentenced to suffer life imprisonment, acquittal granted for offenses punishable under IPC Sections 324 and 498-A.
The bench also directed Jalna Sessions Court to conduct an inquiry under section 340 of the CPC, to initiate against the four witnesses for their glaring acts of turning hostile. The bench also directed all the Principal District Judges to follow the order in Sanjeev Nanda and Ramji Duda Makwana case, while dealing with hostile witnesses.