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Bombay HC Acquits Man Sentenced To Death For Double Murder [Read Judgment]

Nitish Kashyap
1 May 2019 3:54 AM GMT
Bombay HC Acquits Man Sentenced To Death For Double Murder [Read Judgment]
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The Bombay High Court today acquitted one Ramdas Shinde, who was sentenced to death after being convicted by the Sessions Judge, Nashik under Section 302 of IPC for murder of a 34-year-old woman and her 6-year-old son.A division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice PD Naik held that the material placed on record by the prosecution was insufficient to rule out the involvement of...

The Bombay High Court today acquitted one Ramdas Shinde, who was sentenced to death after being convicted by the Sessions Judge, Nashik under Section 302 of IPC for murder of a 34-year-old woman and her 6-year-old son.

A division bench of Justice SC Dharmadhikari and Justice PD Naik held that the material placed on record by the prosecution was insufficient to rule out the involvement of someone else in the murder. Court heard the appeal filed by Ramdas along with the application filed by the State for confirmation of death penalty.

Case Background

According to the prosecution, the incident occurred on the intervening night of April 17-18 in 2016. First informant Kacharu Sanasare came back to his rented home after finishing his night shift on April 18 and found the door of his house locked from outside. He then went to his sister's house to enquire about his wife and son, thereafter he went to another sister's house. Then he came back home and the landlord's son Vinod met the accused and told him that the light and fan in his house were on.

Kacharu then went to the kitchen room of the accused Ramdas, who is also the landlord's son and stays on the other side of the same house. From the said room, Kacharu was able peep into his home through a cement window and saw his wife and son, who appeared to be sleeping according to Kacharu. His wife did not have clothes on. Then, Kacharu broke the lock along with his sister and nephew only to find both his son and wife lying in a pool of blood.

Importantly, prosecution claimed that Ramdas had called his friend Subhash Rajput at around 3:30 on April 18 confessing to the double murder. However, Subhash did not support the prosecutions' story and stated that police seized his mobile phone on May 1 even though they claim to have knowledge of the said calls from April 18.

Submissions

Advocate Aniket Nikam appeared on behalf of Ramdas and submitted that initially Kacharu was detained by the police as a suspect and the FIR was recorded late in the afternoon. Nikam further questioned why first informant Kacharu did not inform the police immediately once he saw his wife lying in the house without clothes along with his son in a pool of blood, instead of forcing entry once he contacted his relatives.

Nikam further pointed to Ramdas's brother Vinod's testimony and stated that the main door of Kacharu's house could not be opened even after lock was broken from outside as it was also locked from inside. Then, the door on Ramdas's side of the house was opened but an impression is sought to be given by the prosecution that the door to Kacharu's rented home from Ramdas's part of the house was already open, Nikam argued.

APP PP Shinde submitted that the murders were committed in the most brutal manner with multiple stab wounds on both the deceased. Furthermore, in order to mislead, the accused locked the entrance door from the inside and from the outside.

Shinde also pointed to the audio recording of Subhas Rajput's statement to the police saying that his friend Ramdas had confessed to the murders in two phone calls made to him. Later he had turned hostile, Shinde said.

Judgment

After examining all the material on record, Court said-

"We therefore find that the investigating officer has not investigated into all links or clues to gather that nobody else could have committed the ghastly double murder or to show that the accused is the only convict. Absence of accused from his house in the night has also not been brought on record by any convincing evidence. The circumstances like extrajudicial confession or recovery under Section 27 of knife, bloodstained pant or key are also not established by any convincing evidence."

The court accepted Nikam's submissions and observed-

"Through cement window he could have very well seen the blood and realized the gravity of the situation. If he wanted to help his wife and son, he could have immediately forced open the door instead of going to his sister's place to call her. It appears that he had a mobile phone but he did not use it to call for help."

Thus, Court finally held that material on record is insufficient to rule out the involvement of any other person in the matter. The said appeal was allowed and judgment convicting Ramdas was set aside.

Read the Judgment Here


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