A labourer, who was in custody since Nov 2018 for attacking a woman who lent him Rs500, was on Monday sentenced to three years imprisonment. By then, he had spent 15 months more than the sentence, as an undertrial.
Digvijay Chouhan, in his mid-30s, was arrested on the same day after the incident on Nov 11, 2018. He was on the footpath with bloodstained clothes and bloody hands. He had attacked the woman, a domestic help, Ratna Vishap, with a kitchen knife on her neck when she insisted he repay the entire amount when he could return only half.
He was booked for attempt to murder, for which imprisonment can be up to 10 years jail. The court found him guilty for attempting to commit culpable homicide, for which the maximum punishment is seven years. The court also imposed a fine of Rs5,000 on him.
Chouhan's bail was rejected twice in these years. Once in Dec 2021 and then in April 2022. As per the judgment, the period undergone as an undertrial will be deducted from the sentence, thus enabling his release.
Vishap had lent the amount to Chouhan who lived in her vicinity. Appearing before the court, she said on Nov 11, 2018, she had gone to his home to ask for the money back. She wanted the entire amount, which he couldn’t return. He brought a kitchen knife and hurt her on both sides of her neck, her nose and her right hand finger.
Prosecutor Bhagwan Rajput said among witnesses who testified were also a shopkeeper, who had seen Chouhan with blood on his hands and clothes. He had called the police and informed them of the commotion. However, this witness could not identify Chouhan in court as years had passed after the incident and his testimony.
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