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A 27-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a district court for murdering a youth in his neighbourhood two years ago. District Judge Mridula V K Bhatia, while pronouncing the sentence on Thursday, also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on Yuva Ankush Mane, from Airoli in Navi Mumbai. The prosecution examined as many as 11 witnesses, including the victim’s mother. Public Prosecutor Buleshwar Hinge told the court that on December 18, 2014, the victim, Nitin Jadhav (28), employed with L&T company, informed his widowed mother that he would go out of the house and return soon.
Within 5-10 minutes, his mother heard a commotion and she came out. She saw that the accused was stabbing her son with a knife. She asked the accused to stop but he did not listen and went on inflicting stab wounds on the victim. The accused then fled the scene and a badly wounded Nitin was rushed in an autorickshaw to a hospital where he was declared brought dead.
The defence counsel, MZG Shaikh, argued in the court that his client was innocent. He said on that day, Yuvraj was sitting in the locality where the victim came drunk and abused and beat him up after which the accused picked up an object on a banana hand cart and inadvertently stabbed him. Hinge submitted that the case falls under clause III of IPC section 300, and the accused was liable to be convicted under IPC section 302.
However, Shaikh told the court that it had come on record that the accused also sustained injuries which were inflicted on him by the deceased, and that the accused merely exceeded his right of self-defece. He also submitted that had the victim survived, a case under IPC section 307 would have been registered against him for inflicting the injuries on the accused. Therefore, the case would not fall under clause III of section 300 of IPC, but under section 304-I, he said.
The judge noted that as per the evidence on record, the accused intentionally assaulted the victim with a knife in his stomach and chest. There is also evidence of the doctor who conducted postmortem that the stab injuries were sufficient in the ordinary course of nature to cause death. This being the position, the offence would only be under 302 IPC, and not 304 IPC.
Though the intention of the accused to kill the victim may not have been proved to be pre-concerted. However from the stab injuries and the nature of the assault, the intention of the accused to kill the deceased has been brought on record by the prosecution and duly proved, and as such the accused is liable to be convicted under section 302 of the IPC, the judge said in her order.