The Bombay High Court has upheld a life sentence awarded to a 27-year-old woman for murdering her husband after two months of marriage, while accepting the extra-judicial confession made by her to the victim’s brother that she had committed the offence.
A division bench of Justices V K Tahilramani and V L Achliya upheld the conviction and life sentence of Jyoti Malusare for murdering her husband Vijay on June 15, 2007.
Jyoti and Vijay had married on May 9, 2007. However, Jyoti was in a relationship with another person Jeevan Waragade before marriage.
According to the prosecution, Jyoti and Jeevan hatched conspiracy to murder Vijay and on the night of June 14, 2007. She poisoned her husband’s milk and then strangulated him to death when he was asleep.
The next day morning, Vijay’s brother Abhay, who lived in an adjacent room, failed to get response from him when he tried to wake him up. Abhay, with the help of neighbours, rushed the victim to a hospital where he was declared dead.
Abhay later made enquiries with Jyoti as to what had happened the previous night.
According to prosecution, Jyoti confessed poisoning her husband and then strangulating him to death with a towel.
Abhay lodged an FIR against Jyoti and she was arrested the same day. While trial was conducted against both Jyoti and Jeevan, the Sessions court acquitted Jeevan due to lack of evidence. Jyoti was convicted for murder and awarded life.
“If we consider the prosecution case and evidence adduced, then it is clear that there are no eyewitnesses to the incident. The entire case of the prosecution is based on the extra-judicial confession made by the accused Jyoti to the victim’s brother Abhay and circumstantial evidence,” the High Court noted while hearing Jyoti’s appeal against conviction.
The Court held that the prosecution managed to duly corroborate the extra-judicial confession with circumstantial evidence.
“We are of the view that Abhay’s testimony inspires full confidence and is found to be truthful. So also, the extra-judicial confession made by the accused to him is found to be voluntary and does not suffer from any material discrepancies,” the court said.
“We are, therefore, of the view that the extra-judicial confession made by accused to Abhay can be accepted as admissible piece of evidence to form the basis to uphold the conviction of the appellant,” the court said.