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“Conduct Unnatural of a Biological Mother” – Bombay HC Upholds Conviction of Mother For Murder of Own Infant Daughter – Law Trend

The Bombay HC on Friday upholds the conviction of the mother for murdering her own infant daughter.

The bench of Justices A.S. Gadkari and Milind N. Jadhav was dealing with the appeal challenging the Judgment passed by the Additional Sessions Judge convicting Appellant under Section 235(2) of Cr.P.C. for an offence punishable under Section 302 of IPC and sentencing her to suffer imprisonment for life.

In this case, the appellant was arrested for murdering her own infant daughter by throwing her alive in the well.

The question before the Trial Court was, whether the death of the said infant (Pinky) was homicidal.

The Trial Court noted that according to the prosecution, the Appellant committed the act out of anger as she was battling with the fact of bringing up her daughter alone since her husband had deserted them and fled away.

The issue for consideration before the bench was:

Whether the mother can be convicted for an offence punishable under Section 302 of IPC?

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High Court stated that the deceased infant was a sucking child. Hence it is improbable to believe or theorize that a two-month-old child would meet an accidental death by falling into the well.

The bench noted that “it was for the Appellant to show as to how the death of the said infant occurred when it was a sucking child or as to how the said child landed in the said well. This was certainly within the special knowledge of the Appellant herself. However, she has not countenanced all these circumstances pointing to her guilt. Even when she was called upon to explain all the circumstances pointing towards her guilt in her statement recorded under Section 313(1)(b) of the Cr.P.C., she denied the prosecution case in toto. This conduct of Appellant clearly appears to be unnatural of a biological mother.”

High Court opined that the Appellant and no other person is the author of the crime and the prosecution has proved its case beyond all reasonable doubts that the Appellant has committed the murder of her own daughter (Pinky) by throwing her alive in the well.

In view of the above, the bench rejected the appeal.

Case Title: Manisha @ Janglabai Ganesh Chavan v. The State of Maharashtra

Bench: Justices A.S. Gadkari and Milind N. Jadhav 

Case No.: CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 573 OF 2015

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