A Delhi court convicted a woman and her brother-in-law for the murder of her husband, observing that “illicit relationship is the biggest weapon of cheating that destroys the whole family”.
These observations were made by Additional Sessions Judge Vinod Yadav in his judgment convicting the accused persons, Satender Sharma and Shanti Sharma. Arguments on quantum of sentence is yet to take place.
As per court records, on May 25, 2015, the body of the victim, Dilip Sharma, was found near the staircase at his home in Shahdara’s Brahmpuri area. The post-mortem report stated that he died of “asphyxia as a result of ante mortem compression on neck”. Police alleged the accused persons were in an illicit relationship, which was a motive for the murder.
Shanti had told the court that her husband was drunk, lost his balance and fell from the staircase, and died. Satender, on the other hand, told the court that he was implicated in the case by a relative after he refused to make her a partner in running a plastic box-making unit.
The court observed, “Illicit relationship is a perfect mix for disaster. Most times, it turns family system into hell. The case in hand is perfect example of this; wherein a wife along with her brother-in-law (jeeja) has been chargesheeted for entering into conspiracy and committing the murder of her own husband just to save their illicit relationship.”
The court said the accused “miserably failed” to explain Dilip’s “unnatural, untimely and unexpected” death. “It was natural for the needle of suspicion to turn its head towards them… As a logical corollary, it follows that the act of accused persons cannot be explained on any other hypothesis except their guilt. In other words, the prosecution has been successful in filling the essential requirements of a criminal case which rests purely on circumstantial evidence,” the court said.
During the trial, the defence had argued that the cause of death was not clear. The court noted that the doctor who performed the post-mortem was never cross-examined by the defence and, hence, their argument “does not hold any water”.
On the argument that three witnesses had turned hostile, the court observed, “It is relevant to note here that our legal system has always laid emphasis on value, weight and quality of evidence rather than on quantity, multiplicity or plurality of witnesses.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines