Mumbai: 4-year-old's testimony helps court convict his father

The testimony of a four-and-half year-old boy helped a sessions court here this week convict his 40-year-old father, who was accused of killing his wife and the boy's mother, and award him life imprisonment.

According to the prosecution, accused Ramesh Mourya, a resident of Wadala area in Central Mumbai, was a compulsive drinker and quarrelled often with his wife Meena.

On June 30, 2013, Ramesh stabbed his wife as she refused to fill water. The incident came to light when his neighbours raised an alarm after they spotted him while taking Meena to hospital with blood all over the floor.

Meena died before admission to the local hospital and a case of murder was registered against Ramesh.

"We examined six witnesses. But it was the child's testimony which bolstered our case," said public prosecutor Shankar Yerende.

Yerende said that the child a was bit scared to depose in the court.

"However after he was comforted, he deposed before the court. The next problem was administering oath to him. The judge first asked him if he knows what is a lie and how one should only speak truth", Yerende said.

The prosecutor also said that the boy gave the sequence of events and said that Ramesh stabbed his mother with a kitchen knife.

"He revealed the name of his father but did not identify Ramesh. This may be due to fear as he had witnessed the incident", Yerande said.

Judge Sanjay Patil convicted Ramesh and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

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