Mumbai : Giving benefit of doubt, the Bombay High Court has quashed the conviction of the accused based on the dying declaration of the deceased. The court found contradiction in two dying declarations of the deceased and acquitted the accused from the charges of killing his wife.

A division bench, headed by Justice P V Hardas, was hearing an appeal filed by Akaram Malappa Aaivale, a resident of Kolhapur challenging his conviction and life term given by the lower court for allegedly killing his wife Vijayamala.

On April 20,2006, the accused had allegedly set the deceased ablaze which caused her death.

The High Court, while hearing the appeal, observed that the trial court upon appreciation of the evidence of the prosecution convicted and sentenced the accused. However, mother of the deceased and daughter of the accused did not support the prosecution and were declared hostile.

The entire conviction of the was based  on the two dying declarations, the court observed.

The court also found contradiction in the two dying declaration of the deceased. “ In her first dying declaration, there is a total absence of any averment about the accused setting Vijaymala ablaze. However, in second dying declaration, Vijaymala had stated that she had been set ablaze by the accused as the appellant was suspecting her character,” the court said.

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