The Bombay high court recently acquitted a woman and her alleged lover of the charges of murdering her husband. The court observed that there was a gap of two years between the murder and the incident coming to light, which raises doubts in the prosecution’s theory.
A division bench of justices VK Tahilarmani and AR Joshi acquitted Sunil Sarde and Baby Pawar who were sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Dipak Pawar.
According to the prosecution, the victim was bed-ridden due to illness and his wife used to take care of him. To meet the family expenses, she started working as a maid servant in a private hotel. She allegedly met Sarde there and the two got into a relationship. The Pawars have three daughters.
As per the police case, in September 2000, the two accused had taken the victim to hospital on the pretext of him needing some medical attention. After a few days, when her daughters asked about their father’s whereabouts, Baby said he had been sent to Kolhapur to stay with the eldest daughter. After 12 days, Baby told her daughters that their father was missing and lodged a complaint. In 2002, she told them she wants to marry Sarde. When they objected, Sarde threatened them. They then approached the Mahila Nyay Andholan Samiti. Baby and Sarde were called in for questioning and that’s when Dipak’s murder came to light.
The police charged them with murder. They were convicted in 2004. The two then challenged the order in HC.
The bench concluded that the evidence was circumstantial and rejected the case on the grounds that the theory that the victim was last seen with the accused did not hold water.