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SC Acquits Woman Accused Of Killing Her Son-In-Law, Sets Aside Concurrent Convictions [Read Judgment]

Primarily when there existed a complaint lodged by the wife of deceased pointing out that the deceased committed suicide by consuming poison, generally it is expected that the Doctor will preserve viscera for chemical analysis… Non-preservation of viscera by the Doctor remains fatal to the prosecution case, the bench observed.

The Supreme Court has acquitted a lady accused of murdering her son-in-law by setting aside concurrent findings of the trial court and the high court.

Wife and mother-in-law of deceased Brij Bhushan Tiwari were accused of killing him while he paid a visit to their house. During the pendency of the trial, the accused wife died.  The trial court found the mother-in-law guilty and sentenced her to life imprisonment. The conviction was later upheld by the high court.

It was urged before the apex court that the death was due to poisoning and the deceased had committed suicide by consuming poison. It was also contended that the factum of deceased committing suicide by consuming poison has been sidelined and therefore viscera was not preserved by the doctors.

The bench comprising of Justice NV Ramana and Justice S Abdul Nazeer observed: “Primarily when there existed a complaint lodged by the wife of deceased pointing out that the deceased committed suicide by consuming poison, generally it is expected that the Doctor will preserve viscera for chemical analysis. On this point, prosecution has failed in its duty as no steps have been taken to preserve viscera. Merely a statement by Doctor—PW 6 that viscera was not preserved as there is no presence of poison would not be suffice in the peculiar circumstances of this case, particularly when the independent panch witnesses together as well as the Investigating Officer recorded their view that it was a case of poisoning, which has been duly supported by PWs 1, 2 and 3.”

Giving the accused the benefit of doubt, the bench observed that there is ample evidence to strengthen the case of the accused that the deceased committed suicide.

Read the Judgment Here

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