New Delhi:  A Delhi court has sentenced a woman and her paramour to life imprisonment for killing her husband, relying on testimonies of her three children.

Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Kumar awarded them the jail term for murdering the man by hitting him with a cricket bat on his head, neck and private parts.

The court said the very act of the duo of removing and destroying clothes which the victim was wearing at the time of the incident and replacing them with new ones strengthens the prosecution case that it was they who had killed the man and destroyed the evidence thereafter.

It relied on the statements of the couple’s three kids — two sons aged 16 and 12 years and an 11-year-old daughter — who deposed that their mother and her friend had murdered their father in front of them and had threatened to kill them also if they disclosed it to anyone.

The court rejected the contention of the accused that the kids can be easily influenced and tutored due to time gap between the incident and recording of their statements.

“I find the same not convincing in the present set of circumstances where accused…is mother of these witnesses and it cannot be expected from them that they would implicate their mother falsely or without any reason.

“The kids generally remain close to their parents specially to their mother and it is beyond imagination that a kid will depose against his/her mother on the tutoring of some other person,” the judge said, adding the three minors remained consistent, intact and unshattered during examination.

According to the prosecution, the kids had told the police that their parents used to frequently fight with each other as their mother used to call her friend to their house.

On April 9, 2011, the woman called her friend to her house on the pretext of bringing her a match box over which the couple fought. The accused then caught hold of the victim and his wife beat him with the cricket bat after which the man fell down and became unconscious.

The prosecution said that the accused removed the victim’s clothes and burnt them and put another set clothes on him.

During the trial, the woman claimed that the witnesses had deposed against her at the instance of her in-laws and her kids were also tutored by them.

Her friend also claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case.

The court said other relatives of the victim also supported the prosecution version that the duo were having an illicit relationship which was the motive for the murder.

“Further the claim of these witnesses that the deceased used to remain well and was not having any enmity with anybody indirectly support the prosecution as what else could be the motive behind the killing except the illicit relation between the accused persons,” it said.

The court, while sentencing them, said the socio­economic status, religion, race, caste or creed of the accused or the victim are irrelevant considerations in the sentencing policy.

“Protection of society and deterring the criminal is the avowed object of law and that is required to be achieved by imposing of an appropriate sentence. The loud cry for justice by the society in cases of heinous crimes like rape or kidnapping etc. must be heard,” it said.

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