Mumbai, Apr 14 UNI | 3 months ago

The Bombay High Court has quashed and set aside the life sentence awarded to a man accused of setting ablaze his wife, as a result of which she eventually died in hospital.

The court, while aquitting him, found discrepancies in the dying declaration given by her to her father, police and doctor.

In separate dying declarations given by Vijaya Shelar to her father and police, she had stated that her husband Machindra suspected her character and thus on March 24, 2004, he and his aunt had poured kerosene on her and set her afire.

However, in another dying declaration to a doctor who had treated her burn injuries sustained in the incident, Vijaya had stated that she was set afire by her husband.

In this statement, Vijaya had not mentioned about her husband's aunt also being involved in setting her on fire.

'We thus find that there is a total variance in respect of number of accused who are alleged to set Vijaya ablaze,' noted a bench headed by Justice P V Hardas.

'We find that acceptance of dying declaration given by Vijaya to police and oral dying declaration made to Vitthal (her father) would necessarily falsify the dying declaration recorded by Dr Sinha.

Similarly, acceptance of dying declaration made by Vijaya to Dr Sinha would falsify and label the dying declaration given to police and the oral dying declaration made to Vitthal as false,' the judges observed.

(Posted on 15-04-2014)