New Delhi: A Delhi court has acquitted a man and his second wife of charges of murdering her step-daughter, saying no motive has been proved as to why they would target one of the four offsprings from his first wife.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Virender Kumar Goyal held that the documents against accused Nandan and his wife Sushila were fabricated and and the prosecution failed to prove the chain of circumstantial evidence in the murder of Lalitha.
"Merely that body parts of deceased Lalita had been recovered as deposed by police witnesses from the nearby house of both the accused persons, does not mean that accused both have committed murder of Lalita.
"This suspicion, howsoever may be strong and grave but cannot substitute as proof, to held guilty the accused persons for committing murder of Lalita," the court said.
Acquitting the couple, the court said that no investigation has been conducted from the office of the victim Lalita where she was working.
The prosecution said that missing report against deceased Lalita was lodged with the Sultanpuri police station here on April 18, 2007. Nandan had informed the police that his daughter Lalita, who had left her house on April 16, 2007 for her office in the morning, did not reach her office nor did she return to her house.
On Aril 18, 2007, one Rajender Gupta informed the police that a head of a woman was lying in a drain at Pratap Vihar here but her body was not visible. The police reached the spot and called the victim`s sister Kavita who identified the body as that of Lalita.
The court noted that the prosecution witness Kavita, daughter with the first wife of the accused, has stated that her signatures were obtained on some blank papers, "which shows that the documents have been fabricated against the accused persons".
"Merely that Kavita is daughter of accused Nandan... Does not mean that she cannot be relied upon in any manner. Even being prosecution witness, she has deposed fairly before the court, which is corroborating with other evidence brought on record, as no motive has been proved on record as to why Lalita was murdered by the accused persons, out of four children of the first wife," the court noted.
"The prosecution has not been able to complete the chain of circumstantial evidence against the accused persons and contradictions have appeared in the deposition of material witnesses and goes to the root of case rendering the witnesses unreliable and untrustworthy," the ASJ said.
The court said prosecution has not been able to prove offence of murder case against the Nandan and Sushila, a native Utharakhand.
The prosecution said that the police had arrested Nandan and his second wife on April 19, 2007.
Observing that the accused Nandan had left for his work by 7.30 am in the morning and came back home by 9.00 pm in the evening on April 16, 2007, the court said that it does not prove that the accused persons have killed the deceased by strangulating her.
The defence counsel had contended that merely recovery of the head and body near the house of the accused persons does not mean that the accused have committed the crime.
"The prosecution has failed to prove motive behind the murder of their daughter," the defence had said.