A Toronto man who pleaded guilty in the death of his five-week-old son 19 years ago has been acquitted by Ontario's highest court.

Dinesh Kumar, 44, was originally charged with second-degree murder in the death of his son Gaurov, but he pleaded guilty to criminal negligence causing death as part of a plea bargain. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail.

But with key evidence now under dispute, the Ontario Court of Appeal for has accepted a recommendation from Crown and defence lawyers Thursday to set aside Kumar's conviction.

"We appreciate the terrible toll this case has taken on you and your family," Justice Marc Rosenberg told the father in court.

Outside court, tears streamed down Kumar's face as he talked about how the conviction ruined his reputation and how for 19 years, people have talked behind his back about his being responsible for his newborn's death.

"I can't explain what kind of life I had before and now, it's totally different -- like a big burden out of my shoulders," he said.

Kumar held up a picture of little Gaurov that he said he carries around with him to this day.

"He's always in my heart," Kumar said, his voice breaking with emotion.

"I never forget him. He (will) always stay with me until I die. I miss him lots."

Kumar's lawyer, James Lockyer, told the court that his client felt pressured to take the plea bargain because of the expert opinion of now-disgraced pathologist Dr. Charles Smith. Smith concluded Gaurov died of shaken baby syndrome.

In court filings, Lockyer argued Kumar was under a "multitude of pressures" when he made the plea, including Smith's expert opinion.

At the time, Smith was a widely respected pathologist whose findings and subsequent testimony were trusted by the courts.

But errors later surfaced in several autopsies Smith conducted over a 10-year period starting in the early 1990s. That led to a judicial inquiry into Smith's flawed work. It revealed that a number of innocent people were wrongly accused of killing children and jailed or imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit.

The Crown agreed with Lockyer's submission that Smith erred in his conclusion on Gaurov's cause of death.

New opinions from various medical experts have found that Smith's conclusion is no longer scientifically valid.

While Gaurov's death remains unexplained, the father said he would post the court's decision at his local temple, where he has felt the sting of innuendo for years.

Outside the court, defence council Lockyer said that the verdict was just.

"I had no doubt in my own mind that he was innocent and I still don't," Lockyer said. "I thought it was a terrible miscarriage of justice."

Still, the court did not use the term "miscarriage of justice," as it has in other cases related to Smith. In fact, the court said that medical practices can be partially blamed for the original verdict.

Lockyer agreed: "I find it hard to be too critical of (the pathologist) on this one, just because there were lots of pathologists who would have said the same thing back in 1992."