A 41-year-old woman and her daughter, tried on charges of murdering their servant and destroying evidence, were acquitted by a local court which gave them the “benefit of doubt”.
According to prosecution, Minal Kirit Zaveri ran an eatery at Bhayander in Thane. Her 18-year-old daughter Apeksha was in love with their servant Mangesh alias Mangaram Nemaran Devasi, who stayed with them earning about Rs 7,000-8,000 per month. The woman wanted her daughter to get married to him.
However, the servant’s marriage was fixed by his parents in their native place and he was to leave this job and proceed to home.
The victim wanted a final settlement of his wages by his employer.
The prosecution alleged that on May 11, 2010, the woman-daughter duo strangulated the victim to death. The mother was disturbed on hearing about the proposed marriage of the victim with someone else, hence the duo murdered him.
Counsel for the accused, Suresh Dwivedi, in his argument cited several rulings and submitted that the woman and her daughter were not involved in the crime. Infact, they made all possible attempts to save the victim’s life, which failed.
“Why should one kill a person whom she wants to get married to her daughter?” he asked.
Sanjay Gahivale, who conducted autopsy of the body, told the court that in case of hanging, ligature marks would be oblique in nature at the side of knot and non-continuous. In case of strangulation, ligature marks are continuous around the neck.
He said that in this case, the ligature marks were not found continuously around the neck. He also told the court that he had not mentioned the word ‘strangulation’ in the opinion in postmortem report.
Thane Additional Sessions Judge A S Bhaisare observed that from the evidence, it seems that the accused, while noticing the deceased hanging to the fan, cut down the saree.
The victim was brought down and they tried to save his life by shifting him from one hospital to another and also informed police about the incident.
If the accused would have been guilty, they would not have tried to save the life of deceased, he noted.
Considering the evidence of the medical officer, facts and circumstances of the matter, it is doubtful whether death of the deceased was homicidal or suicidal. Therefore, the benefit of the same needs to be given to the accused, he said.
There are no eye witnesses to the incident. There was no motive behind the commission of crime, the judge noted while acquitting both the accused of charges against them under IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 and others.
( Source – PTI )