HC relief to man who set wife on fire but took her to hospital

Bombay High Court (HC) granted partial relief last week to Jogeshwari resident Fazalenaim Shaikh, who set wife Reshambanu on fire in May 1998, after it was told the accused later doused the flames and took her to hospital.

Reshambanu, who suffered 47 per cent burns, died 15 days after the incident.

Shaikh was convicted of murder by a sessions court and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life. HC, however, convicted him of culpable homicide not amounting to murder on November 21 and reduced his sentence to 10 years.

A division bench of Justices V K Tahilramani and A R Joshi said, "His conduct after the incident shows he did not intend to murder his wife. In the course of a quarrel, he set her on fire...He regretted his act and doused the fire and rushed her to hospital. This shows he had no intention to cause her death."

The judges noted that Reshambanu had said in her dying declaration that Shaikh took her to hospital.

The prosecution said the incident took place after an argument over Reshambanu's desire to visit her aunt. Shaikh denied permission but when Reshambanu insisted on the visit, he poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. He later took her to Cooper Hospital.

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