restIn a relief to a man who had killed his daughter with an axe, the Bombay High Court reduced the life imprisonment sentence imposed on him by a lower court to the period of about 14 years he had spent in jail and ordered his release.
The court ordered the release of Gata Mohansinh Jadav from Lajpore Central Prison in Surat (Gujarat) jail.
Hearing Jadav’s appeal, the High Court set aside the life sentence awarded by a sessions court at Dadra and Nagar Haveli in Silvasa district saying that the offence under section 302 IPC (murder) was not made out against him.
The court instead held him guilty under IPC section 304 part I (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
“In our view the case would clearly fall u/s 304 Part I of IPC, because we are of the opinion that the appellant did not just have the knowledge that his act is likely to cause death but in fact the appellant intended to cause death of (his daughter) Shobhana,” said Justices V L Achliya and V K Tahilramani in a recent judgement.
“We say so on the basis of the weapon used, part of the body where the injury was inflicted, the force used while assaulting and the nature of the injuries. Looking at all these facts, we are of the considered opinion that the case would fall u/s 304 Part I of IPC,” said the judges.
Defence lawyer Arfan Sait argued that the case would fall under section 304 part II(culpable homicide not amounting to murder) saying the accused had knowledge that his act may cause death but had no intention to kill his daughter.
However, the court did not agree with his contention saying that the appellant had the intention to kill his daughter and hence he had hit the axe on her head.
Jadav stayed with his wife and three children at Naroli in Dadra Nagar and Haveli. At the time of incident, the daughter of the appellant, Shobhana, was 14-year-old. His wife and brother-in-law were eyewitness to Shobhana’s killing.
On December 17, 1996, Shobhana asked for money from her father to go on a school trip but he refused. She insisted and an argument broke out between the two. In a fit of rage, Jadav picked up an axe lying in the house and dealt a blow on the head of his daughter who fell unconscious. She was taken to hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.