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Upholding the life imprisonment handed down to a man for killing his daughter in 2006 over an an extra-marital affair with a relative, the Delhi High Court rejected his plea that the crime was committed at the spur of the moment.

A division bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Suresh Kait upheld Bhagwan Dass’ conviction and said: ‘The provocation of the deceased running away after abandoning her husband and being in a relationship with her (distant) uncle was a fact in the knowledge of the appellant for over a month. Surely this conduct of the deceased would not be a sudden or a grave provocation, resulting in loss of self control.’

The court last week rejected Dass’ argument that the crime was committed at the spur of the moment.

According to the prosecution, Dass felt humiliated that his daughter was in a relationship with his maternal aunt’s son and murdered her in their home in west Delhi’s Najafgarh area in 2006.

A trial court had sentenced Dass to life imprisonment on the basis of his statement given to the sub-divisional magistrate of the area concerned in which he had admitted his guilt.

But in his statement before the trial court, Dass denied killing his daughter and having made any statement before the sub-divisional magistrate.

The court also rejected the statement recorded before the sub-divisional magistrate, saying it was inadmissible as evidence since it was recorded before the investigating officer of the case.

The high court rejected the appeal based on two counts. First was that Dass was present in the house during his daughter’s death and secondly, he did not inform the police for more than eight hours after her death.

Counsel for the convict argued that the case fell under culpable homicide not amounting to murder as Dass committed the crime ‘on the spur of the moment’ when he lost his self-control during a heated exchange with his daughter.

The court rejected this argument and said: ‘The appellant met his daughter after over a month and chose to have a dialogue with her on the emotive issue of how his daughter should conduct herself socially… It is in this backdrop that we are compelled to hold that the appellant may not be entitled to the defence of loss of self-control.’

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