SRINAGAR: In a tragic incident that took place more than a decade ago, a man was sentenced to life imprisonment by Principal Sessions Judge Reasi R N Wattal for killing his wife and 10-year-old child. The case had been under trial for years, and the verdict was delivered on Monday.
According to the prosecution, the police received information from reliable sources on March 7, 2010, that the body of Shiv Devi, the wife of Kuldeep Singh, was found on the road leading from Shikari to Thuroo in the Dubri forest. A short distance away, the body of their 10-year-old child, Sachin, and the weapon used in the crime were also discovered.
During the investigation, it was revealed that the accused and the deceased had been married for 13 to 14 years and had two children. The accused, who was working in Kangra Himachal Pradesh, used to quarrel with his wife over suspicions of her having an illicit relationship. Due to the strained relations, Shiv Devi was living with her parents at Bathoi.
On the day of the incident, the accused called his wife to the Dubri forest and administered some drug to her and their son, rendering them unconscious. He then killed them both. The police presented a charge sheet before Munsiff (JMIC), Mahore, who committed the case to Principal Sessions Judge Reasi for judicial determination.
After hearing the prosecution and the defense, the judge observed that the nature of the offense committed by the accused played an important role in awarding the punishment. “The penal statute has prescribed punishment for the offense of murder for life or capital punishment, and to view such offenses once proved lightly is itself an afferent to humanity,” the court said.
The judge also noted that there are only two types of punishment for an offense under Section 302 RPC – life imprisonment or the death penalty. “The convict is as such sentenced to undergo life imprisonment for the commission of the offense under Section 302 of RPC and imprisonment of two years for the commission of offense under Section 4/25 Arms Act,” the court said.
The verdict has brought closure to the family of the deceased after a long and difficult legal battle. The court’s decision is a reminder that such heinous crimes will not be taken lightly and will be dealt with severely.