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Long wait for justice

Calcutta, Aug. 8: After spending eight years in jail on the charge of abetting his wife to suicide, Dhananjoy Pandit was today declared innocent.

On February 13, 1989, Dhananjoy’s wife Bhagabati had hung herself from a ceiling at her in-laws’ house in Burdwan district’s Chandoli village. Her mother lodged a police complaint and a case was registered against Dhananjoy and his parents.

After eight years of trial at the assistant sessions court at Katwa in Burdwan, the three were convicted for abetting Bhagabati to end her life. In July 1997, the judge sentenced Dhananjoy to eight years’ rigorous imprisonment and his parents got a four-year term.

They moved the high court, which granted bail to Dhananjoy’s parents but left his appeal pending.

A division bench of the high court recently stumbled on Dhananjoy’s petition while going through pending cases. It today absolved Dhananjoy, citing lack of evidence, and directed the state government to release him from jail.

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