Woman kills family thinking that she was a Devi, urges for mercy

deviA 30-year-old convict facing life imprisonment for killing her husband, two children and wounding another seven people four years ago in Madhya Pradesh wants the Supreme Court to set her free because she committed the crime under the delusion that she was a goddess.

Rajwa Kol, who was convicted by the lower court as well as high court, said she had no motive to kill her family members, but attacked them with a pincer when a tantric was treating her of a “mental illness”.

A bench headed by justice SA Bobde agreed to hear Kol’s appeal, despite two concurrent decisions holding her guilty. It issued a notice to the state government after Kol’s lawyer Dushyant Parashar contended she suffered from “delusions of grandeur”.

He said the courts before ignored the doctor’s report confirming Kol’s condition.

An expert had examined her immediately after her crime.

“When the patient was brought to the hospital she was in an aggressive mood and was talking too much. She was in an abnormal state. She used to call herself devi (goddess) and it seemed to her that she could punish any enemy,” the doctor said in his report.

Lawyer Parashar argued that the woman is entitled to immunity under law as Section 85 of the Indian Penal Code protects a person from prosecution if the offender is of unsound mind and is incapable of knowing the nature of the act committed.

But the lawyer told Hindustan Times that Kol never suffered any perennial illness.

A resident of Sidhi district in Madhya Pradesh, Kol went on a macabre killing spree on March 3, 2012, murdering her family members first and then assaulting seven people in a 12-hour act of madness before locals overpowered her.

In November 2015, the trial court convicted Kol and sentenced her to death.

However, on February 2 this year, the high court commuted her punishment to life imprisonment, saying the case did not fall in the rarest-of-the-rare category.

Both courts dismissed Kol’s plea for immunity. “The mere fact that she was under treatment for some delusions and occasionally been subject to some treatment per se insufficient to bring her case within the exemption laid down by the IPC,” the high court said in its verdict.

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