FPJ Legal: Read mind of the offender and not the offence, says Bombay HC while acquitting husband, who killed wife over marital discord

09:13 PM Sep 22, 2021 | Narsi Benwal

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court while acquitting a man, convicted by a lower court for killing his wife, said that it is needed to read his mind and not to consider the offence. The HC said the husband wanted his "beloved wife" to return to his house but she denied and this deprived him of self control and he assaulted her after which she died.

The ruling was pronounced by a bench of Justices Sadhana Jadhav and Sarang Kotwal on Wednesday.


The bench was hearing an appeal filed by Ankush Chavan (38), a resident of Karad, Satara district, challenging his conviction by a lower court.


Chavan was convicted by a lower court in October 2016.

According to the prosecution case, Chavan was married to Kamal in 2002 and the couple had three children. However, he often suspected her character and chastity, because of which, she left her matrimonial house and started living with her sister.

In April 2015, Chavan visited Kamal's sister's house to take Kamal back to her matrimonial abode. There was hot discussion between them and Chavan insisted upon her to return which she denied.

"In the midst of the discussion, he had caught hold of her neck and he had hit with pestle on her head. She had fallen to the ground and had succumbed to the injury instantaneously," the prosecution claimed.

However, Chavan before the bench led by Justice Jadhav argued that it was all done in a heat of passion and that he didn't premediate to kill his beloved wife.

Having considered the material on record, the bench said, "In the present case, it is the specific case of the prosecution that the accused was insisting upon his wife to return to her rightful matrimonial abode with a hope that the creases would be ironed."

"However, the deceased denied the offer. It was as if, there was no hope for the accused that his beloved wife would return with him and being enraged and deprived of self control, had assaulted his wife with whatever available just nearby," the judges said, adding, "In these circumstances, it would be necessary to read the mind of the offender and not consider the offence devoid of emotions."

The bench, accordingly, acquitted Chavan from the murder of his wife but instead found him guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The judges awarded him eight years in jail and noted that he was behind the bars since the very day of the offence and accordingly, let him off.

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