By LE Desk

Patna, June 23, 2021: The Patna High Court has acquitted a man, who was given the death penalty by a court in Bihar’s Gopalganj district for murdering his wife for dowry in 2007, for lack of evidence.

A division bench comprising Justices Ashwani Kumar Singh and Arvind Srivastava set aside the capital punishment order of the trial court, holding that there is no direct evidence against the petitioner, reported news agency PTI.

His conviction was “purely based on circumstantial evidence” and “merely on the moral ground as the wife of the appellant Nasruddin had died in her matrimonial home”, the high court said in its order on Monday

The bench directed that the petitioner be released if he is not required in any other case.

The high court observed that the judgment of the additional sessions judge is an example of “how not to write a judgment”.

“It has repeatedly been emphasized by the Supreme Court that the Courts and Judges must make a dispassionate assessment of evidence and that the Courts and Judges should not be swayed by the horror of crime and the character of the person.

“The judgment should be made by a Judge uninfluenced by his own imagined norms of the functioning of the society,” the bench said.

The Gopalganj additional sessions judge on March 29, 2019, held Nasruddin Mian, a resident of Haradiyan village, guilty of killing his wife, Sanjeeda Khatoon (23), for dowry.

He challenged the verdict in the high court saying he was falsely implicated in the case. Nasruddin and Sanjeeda got married in 2003, and they have two children. The woman died on March 17, 2007, and her father lodged a police complaint four days later alleging that she was poisoned to death because of non-fulfilment of her husband’s demand for a motorcycle.

“The medical evidence and the forensic evidence do not prove beyond reasonable doubt that it was a case of homicidal death,” the bench said in its order.

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