The Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court Monday acquitted a 29-year-old woman accused of murdering her eight-year-old daughter in March last year. During the course of the trial, her 12-year-old son, one of two eyewitnesses to the crime, had deposed that it was not his mother but her boyfriend who had committed the murder.
Sessions judge A S Shende freed the accused, Usha Bhole of murder and destruction of evidence nearly a year to the day that Tanisha Bhole was found dead in Mankhurd. Avinash Phoolpagare, Bhole’s boyfriend,who is the main accused in the crime, is yet to be traced.
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According to the case of the prosecution, the crime took place in Bhole’s home in Mankhurd’s Lallubhai Compound on March 29, 2015, when her husband Macchindra, was not home. Bhole had allegedly invited Phoolpagare, a known drug addict, to her home.
During frequent fights between the couple though, Phoolpagare would often assault Tanisha and her brothers, who are 12 and six years old respectively. On March 29, the prosecution contended that Phoolpagare hit Tanisha and she fell and hit her head on the floor and became unconscious. While Phoolpagare fled, Bhole was accused of concealing the murder from the police.
In her defence though, Bhole’s lawyer argued that she had herself rushed Tanisha to the nearest hospital, where she died during the course of treatment. Of the eight witnesses that the prosecution examined, one of them was Bhole’s 12-year-old son.
“He and his brothers were the only eyewitnesses. Phoolpagare had forced Bhole out of the house. The older boy told the court that Phoolpagare hit his sister and caused her death. His mother was innocent,” said Bhole’s state appointed lawyer. The younger son was not examined by the prosecution.
The testimony of the older son, as well as that of Bhole’s mother, Shashikala Gaikwad, worked in the favour of the defence, the lawyer said.
“Tanisha was a flower-like child and Usha loved her. How could she have killed her daughter when it was she who tried to save her?” Gaikwad said.