Mumbai: HC rejects bail to man who killed wife by hurling acid on her

The Bombay High Court has rejected the bail plea of a man who killed his wife by pouring acid on her, saying that it is not a fit case to grant liberty to him.

The bail petition of Sitaram Sarode was rejected recently by a bench of justices Vijaya Tahilramani and I K Jain, who pointed out that there had been no change in the circumstances since his earlier plea for bail was refused.

Sarode was convicted on charges of killing his wife Sangeeta by pouring acid on her. The trial court had relied upon the evidence of Sarode's minor son who was the only eye witness to the crime. Being aggrieved, Sarode filed an appeal in 2013 in the HC and urged for bail which was refused. While his appeal is pending, the court decided to hear his bail and rejected it.

Sarode argued that there was delay in recording the statement of his son, Shantunu, and as such the possibility of child witness being tutored cannot be ruled out.

However, the HC held that on the same ground Sarode's earlier bail plea was rejected. Hence, it was without merits.

The HC noted that Sarode's conviction was based on two dying declarations and an oral dying declaration given by the deceased (Sangeeta) to her mother. In all these dying declarations, she had stated that the accused had suspected her character and hence poured acid on her.

Nothing had been elicited in the cross examination to doubt the testimony of witnesses who had recorded the dying declarations of the deceased, the judges observed.

Sarode argued that the medical case papers of the hospital where his wife was admitted do not bear her name and pertain to some other patient. However, the HC noted that the medical case papers were prepared in her maiden name and that they pertained to the same patient i.e Sarode's wife.

"We have perused the case papers. They relate to Sangeeta Revaji Masal, wife of appellant," the judges said. The appellant argued that he was falsely implicated in the case. He said a plastic bottle was seized from the spot and it is not possible that he could have poured acid from the same plastic bottle because a concentrated acid cannot be kept in such plastic bottle. He said that the chemical analyst's report also did not show that the bottle contained acid.

The HC observed, "no doubt the plastic bottle did not contain acid, but it is pertinent to note that no witness, including the only eyewitness, had stated that in this very bottle, the acid was kept and that from this very bottle, the applicant poured acid on wife Sangeeta and caused her death. Thus, we find no merit in this submission."

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