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Mumbai: Court rejects defence of postpartum depression while convicting mother who killed infant

A staff nurse at the hospital’s ward no. 2, where the incident had taken place on Oct 26, 2010, had testified as a witness before the court

Bhavna Uchil | Updated on: Thursday, April 21, 2022, 10:59 PM IST

Mumbai: Court rejects defence of postpartum depression while convicting mother who killed infant |
Mumbai: Court rejects defence of postpartum depression while convicting mother who killed infant |
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A sessions court that sentenced a 40-year-old woman for killing her month-old girl child in 2010 by throwing her out of the bathroom window of KEM hospital, rejected her claim to be suffering from postpartum depression during the time and held that she was in a fit state of mind.

A staff nurse at the hospital’s ward no. 2, where the incident had taken place on Oct 26, 2010, had testified as a witness before the court. The nurse had told the court that the woman Dipika Parmar had claimed that one of her twins was missing after she went to the washroom. The court said the evidence goes to show the mental position…that the accused was in a fit state of mind when she abandoned her child. After throwing her girl child behind the bathroom, she came with an intention to blame some other person and started shouting that her one child was missing, it noted. “This itself clearly goes to show that the accused at the relevant time of incident was in a fit state of mind, was knowing that what she had done was wrong and therefore with an intention to save herself started shouting that her one child was missing from the cot,” it stated, adding that there is nothing on record to show that prior to the incident, at any point of time, the accused was referred to a psychiatrist.

Therefore, it said, the accused failed to satisfy by preponderance of probability that at relevant point of time Parmar was suffering from postpartum depression, Additional Sessions Judge AC Daga said in the judgement.

A psychiatrist, head of department then at KEM hospital Dr. Shubhangi Parkar had deposed in support of the accused as a defence witness. She had told the court that she treated Parmar after the incident and found that she suffered from postpartum depression. Parmar was under financial and emotional stress as the babies were premature, the doctor said. She also had a history of failed pregnancies too, the court was told and was hence nervous. Judge Daga said it was for the accused to examine her husband to prove her mental status at the time of incident or prior to it, but she had not done that.

It further said that the argument of the prosecution that the accused was in full conscious state of mind while picking her girl child, else she could have picked the boy child also but deliberately she picked her girl child, seems logical and probable. Accordingly, the only intention to kill the girl child appears to cut the medical expenses and upbringing expenses of a girl child, as both twins were premature babies.

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Published on: Thursday, April 21, 2022, 10:59 PM IST