PATNA: A court in Patan in Gujarat on Monday sentenced a 28-year-old woman to jail for the remainder of her life for poisoning her brother and his 14-month-old daughter out of animosity with her sister-in-law, and with an eye on her father's property worth several crores rupees.
Additional sessions judge AK Shah convicted Kinnari Patel for the murders of her elder brother and his 14-month-old daughter using drinks laced with 'dhatura' seed (thornapple or jimsonweeds) and a tablet filled with cyanide powder in May 2019.
Refusing to count this as a "rarest of rare" case and awarding capital punishment as sought by the prosecution, the court said it still needs to send a message to people with criminal mentality so that they do not take such an action lightly.
The court also fined the accused Rs 50,000 and recommended that the victim's wife Bhumi Patel be compensated under the state's victim's compensation scheme.
The convict, who is the daughter of a local industrialist and a dentist by profession, hatched a conspiracy to murder her 32-year-old brother Jigar Patel by slow poisoning him using a concoction of dhatura seed, which affected his mental and physical well being.
On May 5, 2019, when they were on the way to their native village, she similarly offered Jigar a drink laced with dhatura seed extract, and when he fell ill, she forced a pill filled with cyanide powder into his mouth.
When he tried to reach out for his car key so that he could rush to a doctor, she hid it deliberately, leading to his death.
She later dumped the car key in Ahmedabad.
On May 25, she similarly offered glucose water mixed with dhatura seed paste to her sister-in-law, after which she fell ill and had to be rushed to the doctor.
While she was away, the convict used the opportunity to put cyanide powder into the mouth of her toddler niece, killing her similarly.
"Her sister-in-law was the same age as she and was also a dentist. She was jealous of her sister-in-law, which prompted her to take revenge like this. Her greed for her father's property also played a role in the murders," said public prosecutor MD Pandya.
Police later recovered her laptop and mobile, and forensic examination of the laptop showed she had searched for ways to prepare a poisonous drink using dhatura seed.
She had also approached jewellers in Ahmedabad to procure cyanide powder on the pretext of using it in preparing tooth caps.