The sentence was pronounced at 11 p.m. this Tuesday, February 13, 2024 in the Assize Court. Swaraj Seetal, a bus driver from Mahébourg, was sentenced to 37 years in prison for the unpremeditated murder of his wife, Hema Basama, committed on September 26, 2017, in rue La Chaux, Mahébourg. He was unanimously found guilty by the jury.
The mother of the convicted person, Hansranee Seetal, was sentenced to eighteen months in prison. She was found guilty, by a majority of eight to one, of failure to assist a person in danger. This, for having failed to help his daughter-in-law when she was attacked. Mother and son had pleaded not guilty in the case.
The sentence was pronounced by Judge Luchmyparsad Aujayeb
Hema Basama, aged 25, was declared dead on September 26, 2017, at Mahébourg hospital. Her husband, Swaraj Seetal, maintained that she had committed suicide. The post-mortem carried out by Dr Sudesh Kumar Gungadin, Chief Police Medical Officer, however, revealed that she had been strangled. The victim was a bank employee.
Swaraj Seetal was defended by Mr. Neelkanth Dulloo. Hansranee Seetal was represented by Madan Dulloo.
The prosecution was represented by Meenakshi Bhogun, Principal State Counsel, and Vidya Mungroo-Jugurnath, Senior State Counsel. They focused on Swaraj Seetal's confession to the police. In particular, he strangled his wife after she accused him of withdrawing money from her bank account. Swaraj Seetal admitted in court to having had a past as a drug addict.