The Dindoshi Sessions Court, last Thursday, acquitted a 40-year-old cobbler in a murder case after he spent over two years in jail and called the death of the deceased ‘merely accidental’ during a scuffle between the duo.
The scuffle began after the deceased, Siraj Sayyad, who resided in the same neighbourhood in Andheri, picked a quarrel with the accused, Sunil Marathe. Sayyad had fallen down and was declared dead when taken to hospital. Two eye witnesses had testified that Marathe had pressed Sayyad’s neck, after which he fell down. The informant, also an eye witness, did not state this. The medical reports found that the death was due to internal head injuries and not asphyxia.
Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele said in his judgment, “It cannot be lost sight that it was not the accused who rushed to the deceased to assault him, but it was the deceased who approached the accused, whereafter the scuffle resulted.”
It further said that, while it is clear that the deceased sustained internal head injuries due to the fall, the accused cannot be said to have voluntarily caused the hurt. The court also denied that it fell within the purview of culpable homicide and reasoned that it cannot be said that the accused had the knowledge that death would likely be the result. The sustaining of internal injuries was thus merely accidental, it said.
Regarding pressing of the neck, it said that, even if it is believed that the fall was due to it, holding and pressing of neck is common in scuffles without any intention of causing death. “No prudent person would expect the victim to fall down on the ground and sustain an injury, much less death, on account of holding and pressing of neck, unless the neck is pressed in such a manner as to result in death due to asphyxia,” it stated.
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