Mumbai: A man, who spent two decades in jail serving a life sentence on charges of murdering his son, has been acquitted by the Bombay High Court on the ground that evidence against him "did not inspire confidence and was not at all free from doubt".
Laxman Gangaram Zinna, hailing from Andhra Pradesh, was ordered to be released from Yerwada prison in Pune two decades after a sessions court in Mumbai convicted him on the charges of murdering his son, Bhummiya.
Laxman had told the trial court that he had killed his son as the latter used to beat his wife, tear clothes and throw away food. Laxman was employed as a security guard at Talzan hills in suburban Kandivali and he had killed his son at the same location in 1989.
He had initially denied the charges but at the fag end of the trial admitted in his statement recorded under section 313 of Cr.Pc that he had indeed killed his son.
On that basis he was convicted by the trial court in 1992.
A high court division bench, however, acquitted him saying, "We have already pointed out that the prosecution`s case rests only on circumstantial evidence and is not at all free from doubt".
"The circumstances forming the chain have not been established beyond reasonable doubt.
Therefore, it is very unsafe to base the conviction on such confessional statement especially when the appellant was not warned that it may be used against him", justices Shrihari Davare and Abhay Oka observed in their judgement delivered recently.