Couple convicted for murder, concealment of evidence in Female infanticide

A case of female infanticide was investigated by DNA analysis, and parents punished under sections 302 and 201.

Couple convicted for murder of daughter
3 Jan 2009

PANAJI: The children’s court on Friday found Shantaram Raikar and his wife Sashikala guilty of killing their six-day-old baby girl by pressing her neck and chest at Sanguem in 2006.

They have been held guilty under section 302 (murder) and section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. The sentence will be pronounced at the next hearing.

The prosecution alleged that the duo had killed the child on November 9, 2006 and then buried the child in a pit, which was taken as destruction of evidence. The defence argued that a false complaint had been filed by the mother’s brother and that it had been a natural death of the child.

Finding them guilty, judge Desmond D’Costa also considered the extra judicial confessions made by Shantaram in this case. One Cristina Crasto had deposed that when she had gone to visit the accused Shantaram, he had told her that he and his wife had killed the child.

The judge also held that the DNA report had proved that they were the biological parents of the girl whose bones were found in the pit. The birth certificate also proved that on November 3, 2006 a baby girl had been born to them, the court said.

Regarding the plea of natural death, the court observed, “There being no evidence led by any of the accused in this respect, I do not believe the defence case that the death of the child was natural death.”

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