SC Delivers Split Judgment On The Guilt Of Wife In Screening Her Paramour In the Murder Of Her Husband [Read Judgment]
The Supreme Court bench of Justices N.V.Ramana and Prafulla C Pant today gave a split judgment on the guilt of a wife in screening her paramour in the murder of her husband. While Justice N.V.Ramana found her innocent of the offence under Section 201 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Justice Prafulla C Pant found her guilty under the same provision, but reduced her sentence from seven years to two years, which she had already undergone.
In the instant case, the appellant wife, who is now 60 years old, married the deceased husband, who was running two health clubs in Ahmedabad, in 1981 and two daughters were born from the wedlock. She developed an affair with her husband’s employee. When her paramour came to her home, and killed her husband, she concealed the information of the crime from her brother, who is the complainant. Her brother, who came to know of the crime in her brief absence when she left the home to pick her daughter, and never returned, complained to the police. Meanwhile, she absconded with her paramour, and after a few days, the police apprehended both.
The trial court found her paramour guilty of murder, and awarded him life sentence, but convicted her only under Section 201 IPC, and sentenced her to two years’ imprisonment. The Gujarat High Court, however, enhanced her sentence suo motu to seven years’ imprisonment, the maximum punishment prescribed under Section 201. She appealed against the High Court’s enhancement of sentence and the trial court’s conviction, in the Supreme Court.
Although the bench has directed the Registry to place the matter before the Chief Justice of India to constitute an appropriate bench for disposal of the matter, since the remaining sentence of the appellant has been wiped out, due to Justice Pant’s decision to reduce her sentence to two years which she has already completed, it is likely that she will be freed. However, her conviction would remain till a three Judge bench hears and decides her appeal afresh.
Read the Judgment Here