In a 360 degree turn of events in connection with the Shweta Agarwal murder case, the Gauhati High Court on Friday, April 8, acquitted the mother and sister of convicted Govind Singhal. The mother-sister duo - Kamala Devi and Bhawani - were serving a life term for tampering with evidence and criminal conspiracy. The sentence was awarded by a local court back in 2019.
The Gauhati High Court also announced that the case of Govind Singhal who was sentenced to death by the lower court will be heard in a lower court. The High Court ordered that the entire hearing procedure should be completed within a time period of six months.
The trio were convicted on July 30, 2019, by a lower court for murdering Shweta who was the state topper in the commerce stream of Class 12 board exams in 2015.
Pronouncing the quantum of punishment, the judge had said that Govind killed the woman in a premeditated cold-blooded manner.
It may be recalled that in 2017, Shweta's charred body was found in the bathroom of Singhal's rented house located in the Shantipur area of Guwahati. Govind and Shweta were classmates and he had brought her home after her exam.
Later, both picked a fight and in the heat of the moment, Govind smashed her head into the wall. Shweta fell to the ground after which Govind panicked as he couldn't find her pulse. It was then he thought of throwing her in the Bharalu river and tied the blood-soaked body wrapped in a gunny bag on his bike. But he came back home without dumping the body as he thought “it might be traced back to him if the body is recovered as some people had seen him carry the gunny bag on his bike”.
Govind then dragged the body to the bathroom of his house. He poured kerosene on Shweta’s body and set it on fire. Guwahati Police had said though Shweta had lost her consciousness, she died after she was set on fire by the Govind and his mother-sister.
More than 22 witnesses were produced in the court and the charge sheet was filed within 2 months 13 days of the incident.