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High Court sentences septuagenarian to life in jail for killing son

Bhimsha Chendke had killed his son Shivputra with an axe on May 16, 2011 for 'not providing maintenance'.

| Mumbai | Published: April 27, 2015 1:26:31 am

The Bombay High Court (HC) sentenced a 78-year-old man to life imprisonment and upheld his punishment for killing his son in 2011. Last week, the HC rejected the defence’s claim of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, saying that the man took “undue” advantage of his son’s vulnerability of being unarmed.

“It takes two or more people to make a fight. Heat of passion requires that there must be no time for passion,” observed Justices V K Tahilaramani and B P Colabawalla when the defence argued about culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

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Bhimsha Chendke had killed his son Shivputra with an axe on May 16, 2011 for “not providing maintenance”. The sessions court tried and convicted him for murder on January 25, 2012, sentencing him to life imprisonment.

Statements of eye-witnesses, who were neighbours of Chendke, were crucial for the prosecution in nailing him.

The defence relied on Section 300 (exception 4) which says that culpable homicide is not murder if it’s committed without premeditation in a sudden fight, in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel.

It’s without the offender having taken undue advantage or acted in a cruel or unusual manner, reads the provision.
“Exception 4 further stipulates that in the heat of passion upon a sudden quarrel, the offender should not take undue advantage or act in a cruel or unusual manner,” the high court further observed.

Defence counsel for Chendke said there was no pre-meditation or pre-planning when he killed his son, but he did so in a fit of rage. Firstly, the court said Shivputra was not armed and it is nobody’s case that he had at any time, physically assaulted his father. Secondly, and more importantly, the court laid stress on injuries sustained by the victim. The court, therefore, inferred that Chendke had taken “undue advantage” and acted in a “cruel manner”.

“There were as many as five deep wounds on the body of the deceased,” said the court. Going through the record, the prosecution had proved its case against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt, the court observed. “Hence, the conviction and sentence of the appellant under Section 302 of the IPC is maintained, and the appeal has been dismissed,” ruled the court.

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