September 26, 2021 8:48:49 pm
The Bombay High Court commuted the life term awarded to a person from Satara district to eight years, after it was told that the man had not intended to kill his wife when he assaulted her with a pestle.
The court said that it cannot consider “offence devoid of emotion” and observed that the man could not be convicted for murder as he had lost his self-control and assaulted his wife in a fit of rage.
A division bench of Justice Sadhana S Jadhav and Justice Sarang V Kotwal made the observation while hearing the appeal of Ankush Krishna Chavan (38) on September 22. The man is currently lodged in Sangli Jail. Chavan had challenged his October 2016 conviction by Islampur Sessions Court. The lower court had convicted him of murder.
The murder complaint against the man was lodged by the deceased woman’s sister at Kokrud Police station on April 20, 2015. The couple got married in 2002 and had three children. The woman had reportedly confided in her sister that Chavan ill-treated her and had even threatened to kill her once.
The woman had left her matrimonial home and went to stay with her sister in 2015. Chavan had lodged a missing person complaint and later went to his sister-in-law’s house on April 20 to convince his wife to return to their home.
The couple had a heated discussion and the wife refused to return. In the midst of the argument, Chavan caught hold of her neck and hit her head with a pestle, leading to her death.
The appellant’s advocate, Lokesh Zade, argued before the court that Chavan did not have the intention to kill his wife and committed the act in the “heat of passion”.
The bench observed that “it was as if, there was no hope for the accused that his beloved wife would return with him and being enraged and deprived of self-control, he assaulted his wife with whatever was available just nearby. In these circumstances, it would be necessary to read the mind of the offender and not consider the offence devoid of emotions.”
The bench stated that the crime committed by the accused “squarely falls under Section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC and he deserves to be acquitted of the offence punishable under Section 302 of the IPC.”
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