A local Dabhoi court that sentenced a woman to life imprisonment for the murder of her husband took into account circumstantial evidence backed by audio recordings of the conversation she had with a Child in Conflict with law (CCL) to plot the murder in 2020.
The Second Additional Sessions Judge of Dabhoi Monday upheld the prosecution case that the woman had murdered her husband by strangulation after “conspiring and plotting” the murder with her 17-year-old lover who has been identified as CCL in the 121-page order.
The court convicted the accused, Jyotsana Vasava, for “conspiring” to murder her husband Hasmukh — after 15 years of marriage and two children — on September 15, 2020 because she was in an “illicit relationship with a 17-year-old”.
Although the defence had argued that the deceased passed away due to a sudden, natural cause, the court upheld the medical and circumstantial evidence produced in the court to prove the murder. It took into consideration the deposition of medical experts, who opined that the injury marks on the body of the deceased, especially from strangulation, “could not have been part of any natural death” as well as the “nature of the rigor mortis”. The court held that an audio recording of a conversation — examined by forensic experts — between Jyotsana and the CCL in which the two plotted the murder while Hasmukh was at the house of her father had “proven beyond doubt” the crime was committed. “The apex court has observed that electronically recorded conversation is admissible in evidence if the conversation is relevant to the matter in issue and the voice is identified and the accuracy of the recorded conversation is proved by eliminating the possibility of erasure, addition or manipulation,” the court stated in its order.
It also said that the corpus delicti (the body of the crime) had been established in the case and “circumstantial evidence” was reliable. The court examined 19 witnesses and 36 documentary evidence, who “supported the prosecution case” that the accused had strangled her husband with a towel on the night of September 15, 2020 at her maternal home in Lunadra village where she had been living in estrangement with the couple’s two children. According to the prosecution, the deceased had visited her maternal home on the fateful night after attending a social ritual in the village.
The court upheld the prosecution’s submission that the convict had conspired to muder her husband on a “phone call with her lover (CCL)” and thereafter “washed the towel used for the crime as well as her clothes to cause disappearance of evidence”. It also relied on the evidence of the family statement of the deceased on the background of the marital discord between the convict and her husband. The prosecution had told the court that the accused had previously abandoned her husband and eloped with her lover.
The police had chargesheeted the woman under Section 302 (murder), 120(B)(criminal conspiracy), 201 (causing disappearance of evidence), and 114 (crime committed in presence of abettor) of the Indian Penal Code.
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