Kochi: Biju Radhakrishnan, a former partner of Saritha S Nair, who is an accused in the sensational solar scam that roiled the previous UDF government in Kerala, has been acquitted by the Kerala High Court on Friday in a case in which he was charged for the murder of his first wife, Reshmi.
Biju has been serving a life term after being convicted for the murder by a lower court and had approached the Higher Court. His mother Rajammal, who was convicted in a dowry case, was also acquitted by the HC.
Biju was found guilty of murdering Reshmi by the Kollam District and Sessions Court in January 2014. His mother Rajammal was also found guilty in the case.
Reshmi was found dead in Biju's house near Kottarakkara on February 5, 2006.
Biju and Rajammal were arrested in June 2013 following a Crime Branch probe.
The HC overturned the Sessions Court's judgement saying the prosecution was not able to prove the role of accused in the crime without doubt. Biju was initially sentenced for life term and a penalty of Rs 1 lakh was also imposed. Rajammal was given three years imprisonment and slapped with a Rs 50,000 penalty.
Biju was found guilty under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 201 (destruction of evidence), 323 (causing hurt), and 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) read with 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention). Rajammal was also found guilty under Section 498A read with 34 of the IPC.
The prosecution case was that Biju forcibly gave liquor laced with poison to Reshmi and smothered her to death in a toilet in the house on the night of February 4, 2006.
Biju, who was also an accused in the solar case, was arrested from Coimbatore in June 2013.
Biju met Reshmi, daughter of one Parameswaran Pillai and Saradadevi, when she was a B Ed student. Reshmi's family had stayed at his house as a paying guest. They got married in 2001 after a brief courtship. However, as Reshmi's parents opposed the marriage and took her home, Biju later eloped with her.
The couple has two sons.
The prosecution charge was that Biju killed Reshmi to marry and live with Saritha S Nair, the prime accused in solar case.
The solar panel scam had rocked Kerala after the arrest of Saritha and Biju. They allegedly cheated businessmen and NRIs from the state, by convincing them that they had high-level connections including with the then chief minister Oommen Chandy and his office.