Life sentence confirmed on basis of testimonies of minor children

Bombay High Court: Rejecting an appeal made by an accused challenging the conviction holding him guilty for murdering his wife, a division bench comprising of VK Tahilramani and AS Gadkari, JJ upheld the conviction based on the testimonies of his two minor children. As per the testimonies, the children had seen their father assaulting the mother at home and later throwing her into a nearby well. Apart from the testimonies, the Court also took into account the medical evidence given by the doctor in the post-mortem report of the mother, cited the cause of death to be asphyxia  due to drowning which further corroborated the evidence placed on record. As per the Counsel for the respondent, the appellant had a history of domestic violence. Four years prior to the incident, the appellant had caused injuries to his wife and mother-in-law. On account of this, he was prosecuted but subsequently that case was compounded. About 15 days prior to the incident, the accused had again attacked his wife and out of fear, she had come to her brother’s house to take shelter along with the children. However, she was sent back by her brother and was brutally murdered about a fortnight later. After going through the evidence as well as the arguments made by the counsel for the appellant, the Court held that based on the evidence on record, they find no difficulty in coming to the conclusion that it was the appellant who assaulted his wife and threw her in the well causing her death, and thereby dismissed the appeal. Pandhari Sukhdeo Mothe vs. State of Maharashtra, Criminal Appeal No. 175 of 2012, decided on June 9, 2014

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