February 26, 2021 11:38:55 pm
The Bombay High Court on Friday acquitted a woman, who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering her son, who had criminal antecedents, but upheld the conviction of a former cop, who was allegedly in a relationship with the woman and had killed her son. The man was a former deputy superintendent of police attached with Tilak Nagar police station.
The court also observed that a high-ranking officer, instead of taking action against the “notorious” son as per law, caused his death and attempted to make the evidence “disappear”.
A division bench of Justice Sadhana S Jadhav and Justice Nitin R Borkar passed the judgement on appeals filed by Nanda Zodge (53), through advocate Aniket Nikam, and former DSP Shivaji Kisan Narawane (61), through advocate Mahesh Vishwakarma. The two were convicted for offences punishable under sections 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and were sentenced to life imprisonment by a sessions court in Mumbai on November 19, 2019.
According to the prosecution, Zodge, who was a homeopathic doctor, had two sons and a daughter. Police said the deceased son had criminal antecedents, was an alcoholic, and had four to five non-cognizable cases registered against him at Tilak Nagar police station at his mother’s behest. His body was found outside their home on October 25, 2013.
During the course of the investigation, it transpired that Zodge was in a relationship with Narawane and the night before the son was killed, the police officer had visited Zodge’s house, and there was a fight between the mother and son. The police officer subsequently killed the son using a grinding stone and knife. Zodge and Narawane were arrested.
The bench upheld Narawane’s conviction stating, “In view of the evidence, it was proven that Zodge was at her maternal cousin’s house on the intervening night of October 24 and 25, 2013, when Rohan died and, hence, she cannot be held liable for causing the death of her son and deserves to be acquitted.”
The bench, however, remarked on Narawane’s conduct and observed, “We are pained to observe that a high-ranking police officer, instead of taking action against notorious Rohan in accordance with law, thought it fit to eliminate him by causing his homicidal death and, thereafter, attempted to cause disappearance of evidence. No doubt the horrendous act is committed by him in his individual capacity.”
Disposing of the pleas, the HC added, “At the same time, the fact that he was not true to his oath as a police officer to uphold the rule of law cannot be ignored and, hence, Narawane does not deserve to be shown any leniency.”
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