A case reported from Bihar will leave you shocked as husband and his parents spent six months in jail for killing the wife. The woman returned alive and reported to the police station, which is when the family was acquitted.
- A body of an unknown woman was found on May 26, 2018 in Telwa, Supaul Sadar police station area, Bihar
- A day after the body was recovered from the field, the parents of Sonia Devi, (missing woman) registered a murder case against her husband and in-laws while identifying the body as that of their daughter
- Acting on the written complaint, the police swung into action and arrested all the accused people who were later jailed
- They immediately arrested her husband Ranjit Paswan, father-in-law Vishnudev Paswan and her mother-in-law Geeta Devi and sent them to jail on May 28, 2018 (within 2-days of finding body)
- In their investigation report, the police also confirmed the dead woman as the same missing lady Sonia and submitted the report to the court
- The body was sent to Sonia’s parents to be cremated
- Based on the investigation report, the local court too denied bail to the accused
- The case took an interesting turn when the missing woman called her in-laws from Delhi after six months, saying she had been lured by human traffickers and wanted to return home
- Subsequently, her in-laws brought her from Delhi and presented her before the court to show how the police had sent innocent people to jail in a fake case and how the woman declared dead by the police was alive
- After being in jail for 5 months and 20 days, the High Court and the District Judge granted bail to the husband and parents who were convicted for the murder of the woman
- All were freed from their bail bond obligations as well
This matter has raised several questions on the investigation process of the Bihar police. The court has made some sharp comments on the local police as well. Calling this as a black spot, the court has also ordered the police department to pay a sum amounting to Rs 6 lakh to the victim party under the compensation scheme in the case. The court has also suggested that the police can deduct this amount from the salary of the investigator if they want.
The court of ADJ III Raviranjan Mishra has passed a historic judgment on December 23, 2019 in the matter. While court considered it illegal to keep the accused in judicial custody for five and a half months in this case, the order also states that the chargesheet filed in connection with the death of the person who is alive is purely due to the negligence of the investigator – which is flawed and indicative of the investigator’s ineptitude, incompetence, negligence and indifference to duty.
Adding further, the court also criticised that the police was not able to identify the real identity of the dead woman whose body was found. Till date, the other case also remained pending.
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Social activist Anil Kumar Singh, who fought the judicial battle on behalf of the victims in this case, said that he will take the matter to the High Court.
The court’s comment in the case totally exposes the working style of some policemen, who swang into action on mere word of woman’s parents. Singh also indicated that this was not a one-off case, but many such cases existed in the district. The activist has also demanded departmental action against the concerned IO and the police officials associated with the case.
While Anil wants to pursue the matter further, he said that the aggrieved party has expressed faith in the law, after the court’s decision. Paswan and family feel they have got justice, though a bit late.
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