A 22-year-old youth was awarded five years rigorous imprisonment after being held guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to Murder for the death of a person following a scuffle over a mobile phone.
Ray Kalicharan Karotiya (22), Saroj Madan Karotiya (36) and Mayur Shridhar Salvi (25) had on February 1, 2014 attacked Vijay Sarpate, who later died in hospital during treatment, Additional Public Prosecutor Naina Kamthe said.
The three were tried on charges under IPC sections 304 read with 34 and relevant sections of the Bombay Police Act.
Sarpate had given Rs 500 to Prem Karotiya who mortgaged a mobile phone with him. Later, Prem returned Rs 500 and when he asked for his phone, Sarpate allegedly demanded Rs 2,000 from him.
This led to an altercation between them following which Mayur, Ray and Saroj assaulted Sarpate. Also, Ray allegedly stabbed Sarpate in the chest with a knife.
The prosecution said Sarpate lost his life over a meagre amount and the accused committed a very serious offence, and demanded maximum punishment to all the three.
However, the defence counsel said the quality of evidence creates doubt and submitted that there was a single blow. Hence, the offence cannot be termed as murder, and at the most it would fall under Ipc section 304 (II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
District Judge A S Bhaisare noted that no copy of prohibitory order under Bombay Police Act was put on record. The investigating officer also did not make a mention of it.
The judge observed that considering the facts and circumstances of the matter, and evidence on record, the prosecution has proved the offence under IPC section 304 (II) against Ray Karotiya and under IPC section 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) against accused Saroj and Mayur.
However, he noted that the prosecution failed to prove the offence of Murder under IPC section 302 against any of the accused.
The judge said Ray carried a knife with him. During quarrel, he stabbed Sarpate in his chest that led to his death. So, he is not entitled to any leniency and rigorous imprisonment for five years will meet the ends of justice.
He also observed that considering the offence proved against Saroj and Mayur, instead of sending them to jail, they need to be given a chance to become useful members of society under the Probation of Offenders Act.
Hence, the judge recently ordered them to be released and kept under observation of District Probation Officer for one year.