Observing that the prosecution had utterly failed to prove its case, the Bombay High Court has set aside life imprisonment sentence awarded to a police sub-inspector by a sessions court here on charge of killing his wife by strangulating her.
Hearing an appeal filed by Vijay Bapu Kamble, a city resident, against his conviction, justices P V Hardas and B P Colabawalla gave him the benefit of doubt and acquitted from the charge of murdering his wife, Alka, on December 30, 2005.
Since the appellant is in jail, the judges ordered that he may be released forthwith.
The appellant’s wife Alka was found dead on a footpath on December 30, 2005 by police. Kamble had taken a plea that he, his son and nephew Kunal had returned from his father-in-law Anant Malgaonkar’s house alone and his wife Alka was not there. Hence, he was not aware about his deceased wife’s whereabouts.
The prosecution argued that Kamble had taken a false plea and this formed an additional circumstances against him.
However, the court held, “False plea of the defence cannot be considered an additional circumstance for proving the offence since the prosecution has not established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The appellant, in our opinion, therefore, would be entitled to be given the benefit of doubt.”
The prosecution has not examined any witnesses nor has it adduced any evidence to establish that the appellant was seen along with deceased Alka near the incident spot, the judges said in their order on September 1.
“The possibility of appellant, wife Alka and nephew Kunal returning home and thereafter Alka leaving the house of the appellant in a huff on account of quarrel between her and husband cannot be altogether ruled out. Due to the failure of the prosecution to examine Kunal as witness, the prosecution has not been able to prove its case,” the judges observed.
In any event, the prosecution has not adduced any evidence to show that the appellant, instead of returning home, had taken deceased Alka to the scene of the incident and murdered her, the court observed.