Convicted murderer acquitted for 'mental unsoundness'
The Gauhati High Court has set aside the life sentence awarded by a trial court to man who killed his wife in 2012
GUWAHATI: The Gauhati High Court has set aside the life sentence awarded by a trial court to man who killed his wife in 2012 and acquitted him on the ground of "mental unsoundness" before, during and after commission of the crime.
The man in question, one Zakir Hussain of Chalbanda village in the Dhubri district, was found guilty by the trial guilty of murdering his wife Manjuara Bibi while she was sleeping at their home.
While disposing of an appeal filed by Zakir Hussain against trial court's verdict, the High Court noted that he had made a confessional statement before a magistrate after the murder took place. Moreover, Hussain had not resorted to a plea of insanity during the proceedings in the trial court. However, the testimony of a doctor who had treated Hussain in 2010 for psychological disorder, as also those of a relative and a three-member medical board constituted by the High Court, induced the belief that "the appellant would not have resorted to such behaviour had he been in a position to comprehend the consequences of his conduct."
The High Court, therefore, invoked provisions of Section 84 of the IPC to acquit Hussain. However, the court also cited Section 335 of the CrPC to direct that "the appellant be detained in safe custody in such a place and such a manner as the trial court may think fit and proper so as to eliminate the potential threat to the life of any person(s) living in his close proximity."
The High Court, however, clarified that the trail court may consider giving custody of Hussain to "any near relative or friend" who submits the required application in this regard under other provisions of Section 335 of the CrPC.