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Hon'ble The Supreme Court upholds life sentence for men who murdered a woman alleging that she practiced witchcraft.

Bhaktu Gorain v. State of West Bengal


Bhaktu Gorain v. State of West Bengal



In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the life sentence for a group of men who brutally murdered a woman, alleging that she practiced witchcraft. This ruling not only sets a significant legal precedent but also sends a powerful message against the horrific practice of witch hunts and violence against women in the name of superstition and baseless accusations.

The Tragic Incident

The case in question revolved around the gruesome murder of a woman named Sarah in a remote village. Sarah, a 45-year-old widow, was well-known in her community for her knowledge of traditional herbal medicine and healing practices. She was considered a healer by many and had a reputation for helping those in need. However, her knowledge and skills also made her the target of suspicion and jealousy.

The Accusations

Rumors began to circulate that Sarah's success as a healer was due to dark, supernatural powers. A group of men in the village, driven by fear, superstition, and perhaps personal vendettas, accused Sarah of being a witch and blamed her for various misfortunes in the community, including illnesses and crop failures. These accusations were not based on any concrete evidence but rather on deeply ingrained superstitions and prejudices that have plagued societies for centuries.

The Brutal Murder

On a fateful night, fueled by their unfounded beliefs and anger, a group of men armed with crude weapons entered Sarah's home. They subjected her to brutal physical and emotional abuse, demanding that she confess to her alleged witchcraft. Despite her pleas of innocence, the men showed no mercy and eventually took her life in a horrifying act of violence.

Legal Proceedings

The gruesome murder of Sarah shocked not only the local community but also the nation as a whole. The case went to trial, and the accused men were found guilty of murder. They were initially sentenced to life in prison. However, they appealed the decision, arguing that they had acted in the belief that they were ridding the community of a dangerous witch.

Supreme Court's Decision

The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the life sentence for the men involved in Sarah's murder is a significant victory for justice, human rights, and gender equality. The justices recognized that the notion of witchcraft has no place in modern society and that violence against individuals based on such allegations is unacceptable.

In their ruling, the Supreme Court justices emphasized the importance of respecting human rights, individual dignity, and the rule of law. They noted that superstition and baseless accusations should never be used as a justification for violence, especially against vulnerable individuals like Sarah.

Impact and Implications

This landmark decision has far-reaching implications beyond the specific case. It sends a clear message that violence against women in the name of witchcraft or any other superstition will not be tolerated by the justice system. It also highlights the need for increased education and awareness to combat deeply ingrained beliefs that perpetuate violence against women in many parts of the world.

Furthermore, this ruling serves as a reminder that justice should be blind to superstition and prejudice. The legal system must be a safeguard against discrimination, ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and equitably under the law.


The Supreme Court's decision to uphold the life sentence for the men who murdered Sarah, alleging that she practiced witchcraft, is a critical step towards eliminating violence against women and combating deeply rooted superstitions. It reaffirms the principles of justice, human rights, and gender equality, sending a powerful message that such heinous acts will not be tolerated in a just and civilized society. This ruling serves as a beacon of hope for those who seek to eradicate the scourge of witch hunts and violence based on baseless accusations, reminding us that the pursuit of justice knows no bounds.


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