Man who killed wife after quarrel not guilty of murder: Delhi court

More than 14 years after a man stabbed his wife to death following a quarrel, a Delhi Court has convicted him of the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, observing that he did not act in a cruel manner.

The court observed that there was a quarrel between the victim and her husband where the wife attacked the accused, following which he stabbed her.

So, there was “no premeditation”, nor did the husband take undue advantage or act in a cruel manner, but he had the knowledge that injuries could cause her wife’s death, it said.

Assistant Sessions Judge Navjeet Budhiraja was hearing the case against Almantha, who was accused of murdering his wife on August 16, 2009.

Regarding the alleged weapon of murder, a knife, the court said, “If the knife was recovered from the naala (drain), the blood stain marks might have been obliterated but there is no material or indication from the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) that blood stain marks cannot be retrieved in such circumstances.”

It said according to the testimonies of the couple’s two sons, the accused and his wife were found unconscious in a pool of blood, following which they were shifted to a hospital.

The prosecution interrogated the accused after his discharge, and he disclosed the weapon of offence, the court noted in a verdict dated November 20.

“From the record, it is not culled out that the accused had any opportunity to hide the alleged knife and the claim of the prosecution that the recovered knife was used as a weapon of offence is difficult to comprehend and accept,” it said.

Noting the evidence before it, the court said, “There was a quarrel and thus no premeditation. Tempers must have run high and the accused also suffered stab wounds.”

After the attack upon the accused, he must have retaliated and caused stab wounds on the deceased, the court said.

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“The accused had not taken undue advantage or had acted in a cruel or unusual manner but he can be said to have the knowledge that injuries could cause the death of the deceased,” it said.

Underlining that the act was an exception to the penal provision of murder, the court said, “The accused though was charged under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) but is found guilty under IPC Section 304 Part 1 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and is convicted thereunder.”

The court posted the matter for filing of affidavits on Friday. The arguments on sentencing will commence after the completion of the mandatory procedure.

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