Principal District and Sessions Judge Anant Badar on Tuesday sentenced a contract labourer,Ravi Puransingh Rajput (28),to life imprisonment for murdering his wife Kanchan Rajput (26). The court also imposed Rs 5,000 fine on him.
Rajput,a resident of Gurudwara Colony in Lohegaon,was having an illicit relationship with another woman,Laxmi,who is a housemaid. On April 19,2008,around 10.30 pm,when Rajput returned home,Kanchan questioned him for coming home late and about his extra-marital affair.
They had a heated argument over the issue following which Rajput poured kerosene on Kanchan and set her on fire before fleeing home. Kanchan suffered 90 per cent burns. Some neighbors doused the fire and Kanchan’s mother rushed her to Sassoon General Hospital. Later,she was shifted to Command Hospital.
The Vimantal police recorded three dying statements of Kanchan -one verbal statement by Kanchan to her mother on the way to the hospital,second at Sassoon and the third at Command Hospital. According to additional public prosecutor Vijay Fargade,all the three dying statement were consistent with each other. Fargade examined six witnesses to prove the guilt of the accused. The court had relied on Kanchan’s dying declaration. Also,Kanchan’s clothes and the kerosene can was recovered from the spot, Fargade said.
Rajput,who was represented by advocate Vidyadhar Koshe,defended by saying that it was an accidental death. He argued that Kanchan’s clothes caught fire while cooking. Rajput’s mother Shakuntala said that Rajput was not at home when the incident happened,but he failed to prove his alibi.