HC finds man guilty of killing wife, confirms life sentence

Bombay High Court
Mumbai, June 20: Relying on circumstantial evidence, the Bombay High Court has found a man guilty of strangulating his wife to death for resisting his sexual advances towards her married daughter and confirmed the life sentence imposed on him by trial court.

Going through the evidence, justices PD Kode and VK Tahilramani held that the appellant, Ram Mukind Puri, had a grudge against his wife Ujjwala because she used to object to his overtures towards her daughter.

Ujjwala used to frequently quarrel with her husband because he had tried to get intimate with his step daughter Kamal, who was staying in her mother's house at Kanjurwadi in Haveli taluka of Pune district, along with her four-year-old child after she was deserted by her husband.

Kamal had objected to the advances made by her step-father in the past and complained to her mother who had asked the appellant to keep a safe distance from her daughter.

Due to this there were frequent quarrels between wife and husband. "This shows that Ram Puri had developed a grudge towards his wife", the Judges said while upholding conviction of the appellant by the trial court on March 28, 2002.

On the intervening night of July 29-30, 2000, Kamal got up as she felt someone was touching her feet. She saw the appellant standing besides her and asked him why he was standing there. He replied that in the darkness he could not see her. Kamal then asked him to switch on the lights and fan but he did not do so and simply walked away.

When Kamal got up in the morning, she found Ujjwala lying motionless on her bed. The appellant was missing and Ujjwala was taken to hospital where she was declared dead.

The court held that the appellant's disappearance from the scene was another circumstance which pointed at his role in the crime. The first circumstance was that he had developed a grudge towards his wife.


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