Karnataka man who killed wife set free by HC as intent to murder not proven

Bengaluru: A man, accused of killing his wife for allegedly not cooking food for him on a festival day, has been acquitted and set free by the Karnataka High Court, which ruled that his crime amounts to culpable homicide, not amounting to murder.

Suresha, who belongs to Chikkamagaluru district, had married Radha, following separation from his first wife Meenakshi, and the couple went on to have two children. He allegedly committed the crime in 2016 when he returned home on a festival day, to find that Radha had consumed alcohol and had gone to sleep instead of celebrating the festival or cooking food.

A trial court sentenced him to life imprisonment in November 2017 for murdering his wife, and had appealed against his conviction in the Karnataka High Court.

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A division bench of Justices K. Somashekhar and T.G. Shivashankare Gowda, in a recent judgement, held that the prosecution is unable to explain the accused’s intention to commit murder.

“As found from the prosecution evidence, the woman did not prepare the food, that prompted and enraged the accused to take such a drastic step all of a sudden and removed a club from the house and inflicted injuries as part of punishment and there was no intention on his part to cause death,” it said.

The bench ruled that the alleged act of the accused comes within the purview of exception-1 to Section 300 of IPC where the death of the woman was ‘culpable homicide not amounting to murder,’ and not under Section 302 (murder) of the IPC.

Since the accused had already undergone imprisonment for a period of six years, and 22 days, which is sufficient for the offence punishable under Section 304 of the IPC, the High Court directed that Suresha be set free immediately, if not required in any other case.

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