Friday, February 6, 2015

Bombay HC commutes man’s death sentence to life

Shibu Thomas, TNN | Jan 29, 2015, 03.54AM IST

MUMBAI: A 28-year old Solapur resident who stabbed to death his son and sister-in-law - both minors, and attempted to murder his wife escaped the gallows on Wednesday. The Bombay high court held Sunil Ombase guilty of the double murder, but commuted his punishment to a life imprisonment and 10 additional years in jail on the attempt to murder charge. 

Ombase had claimed that his wife taunting him of impotency had led him to assault her and the children in a fit of rage. While his wife denied the allegation, she admitted in cross examination that she had provoked her husband and he had no intention to kill them. This admission by the wife, as well as the Ombase's young age and the fact that he had no criminal antecedents weighed with the court, which commuted his punishment. 

'' We are of the considered view that it is not a case which falls in the category of "rarest or rare" case where imposition of death sentence is imperative,'' said a division bench of Justice Vijaya Kapse- Tahilramani and Justice Ajay Gadkari. 

The contention of Ombase's lawyers that this was not a case of murder, but culpable homicide not amounting to murder, was however not accepted by the HC. ``Even if the accused was not having intention to commit murder of the children, he inflicted knife blows on two innocent helpless children thereby causing a bodily injury, sufficient to cause death in the ordinary course of nature and therefore, the offence committed by the accused with respect to the said two children falls undoubtedly within the purview of Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code (murder),'' the HC ruled. 

The incident took place on New Year's Eve - December 31, 2012, when following an argument Ombase stabbed his wife and then stabbed the two sleeping children. Ombase fled after the incident and neighbours rushed the injured to the hospital. The children were declared dead on arrival and his wife survived. Ombase was arrested over one and a half months after the incident. A sessions court in 2013 convicted Ombase and sentenced him to death. 

Source: [last accessed 06.02.2015] 

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