BOMBAY High Court has upheld the life imprisonment sentence handed out to a man who set his wife ablaze after a cat ate some fish meant for dinner in their Raigad home and she was forced to make chutney instead.
Vitthal Waghmare had challenged his conviction by a sessions court that held him guilty on September 26,2008. According to the prosecution,on October 15,2007,Waghmare bought fish and asked his wife,Bhuribai,to cook it. However,a cat ate the fish and Bhuribai had to make chutney for dinner. Waghmare allegedly poured kerosene on her and set her ablaze.
Waghmares daughter-in-law Sangita,who lived in a separate room in the same house,witnessed the incident. When she raised an alarm,two persons came to the house. Waghmare,however,asked them to leave. A probe began after Sangita lodged a police complaint.
Post-mortem report revealed that Bhuribai succumbed to 95 per cent burns. In their statements,the witnesses said before she died,she said Waghmare had set her afire.
Waghmare had denied all the allegations and claimed he was falsely implicated. Defence lawyer Arfan Sait said Sangita had filed a false complaint against him as she wanted to usurp his property.
A division bench of Justices V K Tahilramani and P D Kode said nothing had been elicited in the cross-examination of the witnesses to discredit their testimony. There is sufficient material to connect the appellant (Waghmare) with the crime,hence,we find no merit in this appeal, the court said.