PRONOUNCING its verdict in the 2002 case related to the murder of Sheela Soni,a BJP leader,a court in Ahmedabad district Thursday acquitted her husband and lone accused Purushottam Soni. Sheela was the president of BJPs women cell in Mandal.
Sheela was found dead in her house in Mandal on June 25,2002. Her body bore 32 injuries caused by a knife. It was Purushottam who had reported the murder. But soon he was arraigned as accused.
According to the prosecution,the couple was childless and wanted to adopt a child. While Sheela wanted to adopt a child of a close relatives,her husband wanted to adopt a child of one of his own relatives,which led to the murder.
Defence lawyer S V Raju argued that 10 days after the murder,the accused was taken in remand during which police made discoveries of blood-stained clothes of the accused and the surgical knife allegedly used in the murder. However,the blood on the surgical knife was fresh. Also,findings of the brain mapping test of the accused did not support the discoveries from a highway.