Follow Us:

Odisha High Court acquits sexagenarian life convict in human sacrifice case

The appellant Bhaskar Patabandha was sentenced to life on 21 December 2013 on the charge of killing the tiny tot for human sacrifice.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

The Orissa High Court acquitted a 62-year-old man, who was sentenced to life imprisonment by the Additional Sessions Judge, Rairangpur eight years back, for human sacrifice murder of a two-and-a-half-year-old boy.

The appellant Bhaskar Patabandha was sentenced to life on 21 December 2013 on the charge of killing the tiny tot for human sacrifice. The suspected human sacrifice, as per the case records, had been committed by the convict on 26 October 2011 during Kali Puja observance.

The convict had confessed to have killed the deceased for human sacrifice before Kali Mata during interrogation by the village committee. Admittedly, no direct witness is there to support the prosecution case. Prosecution depended on the circumstances to prove its case, Justice B.P. Routray stated in the order on Tuesday.

The learned trial judge has observed that it is within the common knowledge that the little finger and tongue were severed for the purpose of sacrifice only and thereby established the motive of murder against the accused.

Making an observance on the confession made by the appellant before the village committee, Justice Routray said “Law is settled that for accepting extra-judicial confession, the foremost requirement is that it must be voluntary and free from all coercions”.

As such, it cannot be concluded that the prosecution has established the charges beyond all reasonable doubts against the Appellant.

In view of the discussions made and the reasons stated, we are of the opinion that the prosecution has failed to establish the charges against the Appellant and the appellant is entitled to the benefit of doubts discussed above.

Accordingly, the Appellant is held not guilty of the charges and is acquitted thereof. He ought to be set at liberty immediately if his detention is not required in connection with any other case, the HC’s judgment concluded.