Bombay HC reduces punishment to life imprisonment for man who assaulted his pregnant wife and relatives with a knife

According to the prosecution, the incident took place on October 24, 2015, at Walkhed. Krishna Pawar, a 35-year-old labourer from Jalna district used to suspect his wife’s character and harass her, so she went back to her parents’ house. Pawar had gone to bring back his wife, who was nine-months pregnant at the time, but instead he was asked to meet them at Walkhed, where the parties intended to discuss the issues faced by the couple and resolve them mutually.

Pawar assaulted his pregnant wife, her mother and mother’s sister with a knife when the three women were waiting for Pawar’s brother-in-law. The attack resulted in the death of Pawar’s mother-in-law and the foetus in his wife’s womb. His wife and the sister of his mother-in-law survived the brutal attack.

The bench compromising of Justices Ravindra Gauge and BU Debadwar, upheld the convictions on December 22nd, 2020, but felt that the crime committed by him was not so barbaric that it would send shivers down the spine of a person, and thus reduced his punishment from capital sentence to life imprisonment.

Their reasoning was that though Pawar had planned to attack his wife and mother-in-law, it was perhaps only a coincidence that the sister of his MIL, Alkabai, also accompanied them. Thus, the act of attacking the sister of the MIL was not pre-meditated. HC has taken stern note of four witnesses, including Alkabai, a victim of the attack, in case they turn hostile, and has directed Jalna Sessions Court to conduct an inquiry as contemplated under Section 340 of the CPC, to initiate an action of perjury against the four witnesses.

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