SC relief for husband-killer who was called a prostitute

Life terms for woman and her lover reduced as apex court says it was a 'grave provocation'

By R. Balaji in New Delhi
  • Published 27.01.19, 2:05 AM
  • Updated 27.01.19, 2:05 AM
  • a min read
  •  
The Supreme Court ruled that the offence therefore fell under the category of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and commuted the life terms awarded to Ragila and Nawaz to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment. Telegraph file picture

A wife and her lover who had together killed the woman’s husband have had their life terms reduced by the Supreme Court on the ground of “grave provocation” because the victim had called the woman and their daughter a “prostitute”.

“In our society, no lady would like to hear such a word from her husband,” the bench of Justices M. Shantanagoudar and Dinesh Maheshwari said in a recent judgment.

“Most importantly, she would not be ready to hear such a word against her daughters. The incident is a result of a sudden and grave provocation by the deceased.”

The court ruled that the offence therefore fell under the category of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and commuted the life terms awarded to Ragila and Nawaz to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment.

Apparently, the husband suspected that Nawaz was having an affair not just with Ragila but also with the married couple’s elder daughter.

Around 9am on the date of the incident, a quarrel had allegedly broken out between the couple, with the husband calling Ragila a “prostitute” and accusing her of turning their daughter too into one.

Nawaz is said to have intervened. After the husband refused to be pacified, Nawaz and Ragila allegedly throttled him to death. His body was discovered 40 days later after Ragila confessed to a local teacher.

After the trial court in Tamil Nadu awarded them life terms and Madras High Court upheld the sentence, Ragila and Nawaz appealed to the apex court against the convictions and the punishment.

“Everything occurred in the fraction of a minute. Since the accused, because of the aforesaid conduct of the deceased calling accused No. 1 (wife) and her daughter as prostitute, was deprived of the power of self-control,” the top court ruled.

“The accused are hereby convicted under Section 304, Part I of IPC (culpable homicide) and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term of ten years.”

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