THE Bombay High Court recently commuted the life sentence of a man convicted for killing his wife by setting her on fire, observing that he “only wanted to inflict burns and not kill her but unfortunately the situation slipped out of control to a fatal extent.”
The court noted that the man had tried to douse the fire by throwing water on his wife immediately after setting her ablaze, and reduced his sentence to 10 years in jail, convicting him of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The court also observed that the man had rushed his wife to the hospital after the incident.
“After the wife caught fire, the accused extinguished the fire and took his wife to the hospital. This conduct cannot be seen divorced from the totality of the circumstances…” said Justice V K Tahilramani.
Referring to a Supreme Court order where it had passed a similar direction, Justice Tahilramani said: “It was obvious that the accused realised his folly and was filled with remorse, therefore, he extinguished the fire and took his wife to the hospital.
In view of the evidence on record, we are inclined to think that all that the appellant thought of was to inflict burns and not to kill her but unfortunately the situation slipped out of control to a fatal extent.”