The Delhi High Court on Tuesday acquitted a murder accused who had confessed to murdering his wife before a head constable at the Sultanpuri police station in Outer Delhi in 2004.

Setting aside the lower court judgment sentencing the accused, Mukesh, to life imprisonment, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Suresh Kait said that the prosecution had not been able to prove that at the time of the murder, the accused was with her at their house.

Another vital lacuna in the investigation, which helped the accused, was that the statement of the children of the deceased, who were present in the house on that day, was not recorded.

``The possibility that the children of the couple were present at the house in question at the time of the murder of the deceased cannot be ruled out. It was thus incumbent upon the prosecution to examine the children of the couple, particularly their eldest child. However,the prosecution did not examine any of the children of the couple. In that view of the matter, this court would be entitled to draw an adverse inference against the prosecution,’’ the Court observed.

In his confessional statement before the police, the accused had said that he had murdered his wife as he was disgusted with her illicit relationship with his brother-in-law (sister’s husband).

However, the Court rejected it as the motive for killing his wife because the accused failed to lead to any evidence in support of it.

The trial court had sentenced him to life imprisonment admitting his extra-judicial statement as evidence.

Though the accused had admitted to his crime before the police, he had later retracted it in the trial court. In the court, he said that he found his wife murdered at his house when he returned home.

The police also failed to prove that the accused had not left his house in the morning on the fateful day. Not mentioning of the exact time of the death of the victim in the post-mortem report also helped the accused.

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