HC awards Rs 5 lakh cost to mother-son duo falsely implicated in murder case

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Sep 2018 10:06:40


Staff Reporter,

After facing the stigma of being murder accused for 14-long years and fighting a bitter legal battle for 11 years despite clean acquittal by trial court, poor tea vendor mother-son duo finally got justice from the High Court which slammed prosecution for falsely implicating them in a murder case and awarded a compensation of Rs 2.50 lakh each.

The High Court has also directed State Home Department to file chargesheet against the real culprit and also against erring police personnel including PSI Barraiyya responsible for falsely implicating Sheela Madhukar Gudadhe and her son Manoj Madhukar Gudadhe in murder case of Sohan Yadav near Yashwant Stadium in 2004.

A division bench consisting of Justice P N Deshmukh and Justice M G Giratkar while dismissing the appeal filed by State against the decision of trial court dated August 10, 2007, rapped prosecution for dragging innocent persons into appeal and forcing them to fight a protracted legal fight.

It all started on September 28, 2004, after Lord Ganesh immersion, there was heated altercation between deceased Sohan and others including Manoj and deceased was charged with hurling filthy abused towards Manoj and his mother. Prosecution had claimed that Manoj had inflicted fatal wound with a deadly weapon due to which Sohan died and his mother had supported him.

Enraged by the implication of mother-son duo under Sections 302, 201, 294 read with Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, the shopkeepers of Yashwant Stadium led by Kamal Pande of Pande Opticals and senior social worker late Umesh Choube fought a sustained legal battle to save Sheela and Manoj.

Even the State CID in its report found that not an iota of evidence was available against Sheela and Manoj. The report had also concluded that Dhantoli Police had miserably failed to nab the real assailants and create false and fabricated evidence against mother-son duo.
The trial court found evidence produced by prosecution not worthy of reliance and had ruled that the accused persons merit not just acquittal by discharge. Going a step further the trial court had asked the state CID to further prosecute real assailant.

The State CID in its report had squarely blamed PSI A H Barraiya, PI N R Chavan, API Patil, ASI Janardan Bire, police constables Dhale, Ganeshsingh, Devanand and Rajesh of utmost negligence and callous attitude while filing chargesheet against Sheela and Manoj.

According to defence, weapon was in the hands of one Manoj Sharma and he inflicted wounds on the person of Manoj Gudadhe, but he escaped and the weapon caused fatal injury to Sohan Yadav. The defence had named the real assailants which was later confirmed by State CID during its separate investigation. The defence had also proved that most of the prosecution witnesses including elder brother of Manoj Sharma tried to falsely implicate them to save the real culprit.

The High Court, while examining entire record and evidence produced before it, also maintained the trial court verdict and dismissed the State appeal while awarding compensation of Rs 5 lakh to mother-son duo to be paid within six months. The Government has been granted liberty to recover the same from the erring officers who falsely implicated Sheela and Manoj. The High Court further directed the State to file chargesheet against the real culprit and also against PSI Barraiyya and other erring police personnel who had falsely implicated accused and also falsely deposed against them. The High Court legal services authority has been requested to consider and to quantify amount of compensation to be paid to the victim of crime - Kusum, widow of Sohan Yadav as per the provisions of Victim Compensation Scheme as contemplated under Section 357­A of the Code of Criminal Procedure. APP H N Jaipurkar represented prosecution. Adv Rahul Kurekar appeared for mother-son duo.