New Delhi: The life sentence awarded to a man for poisoning and smothering his wife to death fourteen years ago has been upheld by the Supreme Court.
A bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and Madan B Lokur refused to grant any relief to Kerala native Ramachandran noting the "clinching" medical evidence that the convict had forcibly poisoned and smothered his wife to death.
"What is clinching in the present case is the medical evidence which clearly indicates that victim was forcibly administered Furadan (poison), she had resisted this forcible administration... Eventually, with a view to overcome her resistance, she was smothered and ultimately she died as a result of forcible administration of Furadan and smothering.
"We are conscious the case is one of circumstantial evidence but we are not able to find any break in the chain of evidence which could possibly throw up some other possibility. Under these circumstances, we find no reason to interfere with the conviction and sentence awarded to appellant by the trial court and confirmed by the high court. There is no merit in the appeal and it is accordingly dismissed," the bench said.
According to the prosecution, the woman was murdered by her husband due to constant strife in their relationship as she was suspicious that he had been having an affair with his brother`s wife, living in the same house.
It said that on the intervening night of March 10 and 11, 1998, there was a quarrel between the man and his wife after which he had forcibly administered the poison.
The apex court, after going through the evidence, came to the conclusion that there was motive on part of Ramachandran to kill his wife.
"The cause of discord between the appellant and his wife appears to be her belief that the appellant had illicit relations with the wife of his elder brother. This may or may not be true but the fact of the matter is that relations between the parties were terribly strained and she was subjected to physical abuse almost on a daily basis.
These strained relations, coupled with the allegations made by her, provided a motive for the appellant to murder her," the bench said.