Mumbai court acquits woman held for son’s death

The only witness, the police inspector who received the complaint, deposed but said that she had only registered the FIR and had no knowledge about the investigation.

TWO YEARS after a 24-year-old woman was arrested for the death of her three-year-old son, a sessions court has acquitted her. During the trial, none of the witnesses, including the investigating officer, deposed. The only witness, the police inspector who received the complaint, deposed but said that she had only registered the FIR and had no knowledge about the investigation.

“It must be held that the prosecution has not been able to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt. There is no evidence worth the name on record which will connect the accused with the alleged offence,” the court observed, while acquitting the woman.

According to the chargesheet filed in 2016, the woman, Asma Shaikh, and her husband, who worked as a security guard in Wadala, had two sons. One was aged six at the time while the victim, Umer, was three years old. The couple was living apart due to frequent quarrels.

Police said Umer had been unwell with a cough and cold before the incident that took place on August 3, 2016. That day, Shaikh had kept her two sons at her sister’s house nearby as she was going to visit her mother in Bandra. After she returned, she picked them up.

As Umer was unwell, a neighbour asked Shaikh to go and get medicines for him. Umer insisted on going with her. An angry Shaikh allegedly slapped him on his face and back. She then asked her cousin to take care of him till she returned. As he continued to cry, police claimed Shaikh also kicked Umer.

In the middle of the night, Shaikh’s cousin felt Umer’s body had gone cold. The family rushed him to hospital, which declared him dead on arrival.

The postmortem report revealed the cause of death to be unnatural, caused by blunt trauma to chest and abdomen. Shaikh was arrested on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Within a month, she was granted bail with the court observing that the death may be accidental.

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