Four accused of killing woman acquitted for want of evidence

20 Nov 2017

A district court has acquitted four members of a family who were tried for allegedly torching to death a woman following a quarrel last year in Bhiwandi township here.

District judge A S Bhaisare acquitted the four while observing that the prosecution failed to prove the charges levelled against them under IPC sections 302 (murder), 452 (house trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint) and 504 (intentional insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace). According to the prosecution, the four accused -- a 50- year-old woman, her two sons, aged 32 and 23, and her daughter-in-law, aged 30 -- poured kerosene over the woman, residing in their neighbourhood in Bhiwandi's Padmanagar slum area, and set her afire on May 29, 2016 following a quarrel the previous day.

The victim sustained severe burns and died during treatment at a hospital the same day. The advocates of the accused pointed out several flaws in the case, like failure to mention whose thumb impression was taken on the dying declaration, the timing of the victim's statement being missing, overwriting on the timing of quarrel between the two families, and non-examination of the medical officer to prove the victim was fit to give her statement.