Court finds young lady guilty of murdering newborn; SC sets aside punishment
The Supreme Court observed that it is difficult to believe that the mother stifled to death a newborn baby girl totally disbelieving the police case.
It happened in 2007 in a Delhi private hospital. Manju a young lady delivered a baby girl. The police charged her with murder for having caused the death of the baby alleging she did not want a girl.
The sessions court, however, believed the police story and she was sentenced to imprisonment for life for murder. The Delhi HC upheld it, thereupon she approached the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held that there is absolutely no evidence to find her guilty for the offence of murder.
The Court critically examined the evidences submitted by the witnesses. It was found that no one has seen the baby open her eyes when shifted to the ward from the labour room. The child had asphyxia according to the nurses and was placed in the incubator with oxygen mask. Also no one heard the baby cry at any time while in the incubator.
The mother of the baby had given evidence that she was administered drugs to sleep and by the time she saw the baby when she opened her eyes it was motionless or dead.
Her definite case is that there was dereliction on the part of doctors who attended her in the labour room and the death of the baby occured because of that. In order to shift the blame, she was charged by the police for murder with an ulterior motive to save the doctors. The police alleged that she did not like the baby since it was a girl. But the Supreme Court found that the husband had deposed that she wanted a girl since the first child was a boy, now 3 years old. The Court said that the evidence of the husband is unshaken and the police story is to be disbelieved totally.
The Court also observed that during the trial, no doctors who was on duty, was examined and that is a suspicious circumstance which gives weight to the contention of the mother that it was a false case foisted on her to save the doctors. The Supreme Court set aside the punishment observing that what the trial court and High Court did was a perverse and atrocious act.