Decided on October 19,2018

Vitthal S/O Lahuji Chaudhari Appellant


Vinay Joshi, J. - (1.) This criminal appeal has been filed against the judgment and order of conviction dated 16/12/2015 passed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Chandrapur in Sessions Case No.152 of 2013 arising out of Crime No.110/2013 registered at Police Station Ghuggus, Tahsil and District Chandrapur, whereby the learned Additional Sessions Judge convicted appellant/accused Vitthal Lahuji Chaudhari for the offence punishable under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, and sentenced him to suffer imprisonment for life and to pay a fine of Rs.2,000/-, in default to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 3 months. The learned Additional Sessions Judge also accorded the benefit of set off to the accused in terms of section 428 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, since he was in jail from 04/08/2013 till conclusion of trial.
(2.) The factual matrix of the case is that the accused was married of five years with Sadhana and at relevant time both were living together at Wandhari Fata. On the fateful day i.e. on 15/07/2013 around 8.30 to 9.00 p.m. Sadhana sustained burn injuries as a result she was initially admitted to Government Hospital, Chandrapur and then shifted to Poddar Hospital. Sadhana sustained near about 93% burn injuries in consequence she succumbed to burn injuries on 29/07/2013. While Sadhana was admitted to Dr. Poddar s Hospital, on 17.07.2013 the Executive Magistrate i.e. Naib Tahsildar of Chandrapur was called by the Police for recording statement of Sadhana (since deceased) i.e. her dying declaration. In turn Naib Tahsildar Shri Santosh Khandre went to Dr.Poddar s Hospital, met the then Dr.Poddar and enquired about the mental fitness of Sadhana for recording her statement. Since Dr.Poddar on examination of Sadhana expressed that she is in fit condition to give statement, Shri Khandre proceeded in recording her statement. During course of statement, ailing Sadhana disclosed that she was continuously subjected to ill-treatment at the hands of her husband i.e. accused. On the date of occurrence, accused poured kerosene on her person and set her ablaze. The Executive Magistrate Shri Khandre accordingly recorded Sadhana's statement, obtained her right toe impression as well as doctor s signature on the statement.
(3.) Sadhana's hospitalization was informed to her brothers viz. Prakash Kshirsagar and Raju Kshirsagar on which they rushed to the Government Hospital, Chandrapur. They learnt that Sadhana was shifted to Poddar Hospital, hence they went and enquired with her about the happenings, on which she disclosed that her husband i.e. accused, by pouring kerosene at her person set her on fire by the aid of matchstick. After death of Sadhana, her brother viz. Raju Kshirsagar went to concerned Ghuggus Police on 30/07/2013 and lodged report, on the basis of which the Police registered offence punishable under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code against accused. The aforesaid case was investigated by the Police and on completion of investigation and finding sufficient material against accused, the Investigating Officer submitted final report in terms of section 173(2) of the Code of Criminal Procedure against the accused for commission of offence punishable under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code.;

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