HC acquits man accused of murdering drunken wife

The High Court modified a lower court order by saying, "The prosecution is not able to explain the intention of the accused to commit the murder."
Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High Court File

CHENNAI: A man who killed his drunken wife for not preparing food did not commit murder but culpable homicide, the Karnataka High Court has held and passed an order for his release from jail.

The High Court modified a lower court order by saying, "The prosecution is not able to explain the intention of the accused to commit the murder." However, there was provocation which enraged the accused to club his wife to death.

"As found from the prosecution evidence, the woman did not prepare the food, that prompted and enraged the accused to take such a drastic step all of a sudden and removed a club from the house and inflicted injuries as part of punishment and there was no intention on his part to cause death," said the High Court.

Therefore, the court held that "the alleged act of the accused comes within the purview of exception-1 to Section 300 of IPC where the death of the woman was 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder.' Suresha from Mudigere in Chikkamagaluru district approached the High Court with the appeal in 2017.

A Division Bench of Justice K Somashekar and Justice T G Shivashankare Gowda heard the appeal.

The trial court convicted Suresha of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment in November 2017. Suresha was living separately from his first wife Meenakshi. Another woman Radha, too, had separated from her husband Nanjaiah. Subsequently, Suresha and Radha ended up getting married and had two children.

In 2016, Suresha came back from work on a festival day to find she had not celebrated at that time. She had not cooked food either. She was addicted to drinks and was sleeping. Angry over this, Suresha fatally hit her with a club.

Modifying the conviction and order of sentence of the trial court, the High Court convicted him under section part-II of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) instead of section 302 of IPC (murder).

The period of six years, 22 days undergone by the accused in incarceration is sufficient for the offence punishable under section 304 part-I of IPC, the High Court said and directed the jail authorities to "set him at liberty forthwith, if he is not required in any other case."

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