A man was awarded life sentence by a local court while his wife got 10 months imprisonment for the murder of his 70-year-old foster mother.
Additional Public Prosecutor Buleshwar Hinge told the district court that Vinit alias Mahesh Mestri (38) and his wife Maya killed his foster mother Indira Remje (70), a resident of Andheri, on September 21, 2014.
They then packed the body in a trunk, tied it with a rope and sealed it. The trunk was dumped at Mira Road where a police party on patrol duty found it, he said.
Mr. Hinge alleged that the accused smothered the old woman to death.
They later attempted to sell her ornaments to a local jeweller, who bought all jewels but one which had grey hair entangled in it.
Later, the woman’s two biological sons filed a missing complaint about their mother with MIDC Police at Andheri and also started their own hunt for her.
They then came to know that Vinit, who was jobless and a drunkard, had bought several household items all of a sudden.
This made them suspicious and they went to local jewellers from whom they came to know that the accused couple had mortgaged their mother’s jewellery at a shop, while another jeweller had turned the couple away as human hair was entangled in a piece of jewellery.
The two brothers later also found out that the accused had come to their house and the neighbours had seen them bringing a trunk.
In all, 19 witnesses, including the woman’s two biological sons, jewellers from the area and a few neighbours, were examined by the prosecution.
The court relied on deposition of the woman’s neighbours who informed that they had seen the accused enter her house.
Vinit’s wife pleaded ignorance, saying she was under the impression that he had got money from a job to buy all the household stuff and that she had just accompanied him to the jewellery shop.
However, Mr. Hinge urged the court to award maximum punishment to the accused so that it gives a strong message to the society.
Subsequently, Thane District Judge Mridula Bhatia convicted the couple on Friday for the offence and awarded life sentence to Vinit and 10 months imprisonment to his wife.