Life couldn’t have gotten worse for 70-year-old Elias Sequeira.
Three years ago he went from being a resident at Lar Santa Margarita, a home for the aged at Divar, to inmate of a prison in the State. All because of a drink, a punch and a knife.
His situation went downhill after his effort to get the chargesheet accusing him of murder squashed was rejected by the Additional Sessions Judge, Panaji, last week, which means he will now face trial.
In October 2019, he and Joao Rebello, another inmate of the home went out in the evening for a drink and when they returned at 7 pm the nun in charge, Sr Monica Rodrigues, noticed that both were quite drunk.
Joao took Sr Monica to the dormitory and told her that Elias was drunk. This was enough to spark an altercation between the two, which was brought under control by the nun. The duo had dinner
and it was after the staff sat down to have theirs that Joao emerged from the dormitory clutching his bleeding belly. He told Sr Monica that Elias had stabbed him.
Sr Monica rushed to the dormitory to find Elias with a knife in his hand. When questioned he said, Joao had punched him first.
The defence lawyer tried to get Elias off the hook by arguing that there was no witness to the crime and that Joao died one month later due to septicaemia and not a stab injury. He also said the deceased was suffering from high blood pressure, duodenal ulcer and was experiencing a nervous breakdown due to the death of his wife.
The judge, however, held that the confession made by the accused to Sr Monica held weight because it was made immediately after the incident to a superior who was held in regard by the deceased. Secondly, the statements of other witnesses supported Sr Monica’s version of the events.
Referring to the post-mortem report, the order noted that the accused had stabbed the deceased eight times, of which one stab punctured the left lung and this proved to be fatal.
Hence charges will be framed against Elias Sequeira and he will now face trial under Section 302 of the IPC, which pertains to murder.