A Delhi court has sentenced a 27- year-old youth and his father to seven years in jail for torturing his wife who ended her life, observing that it was not just suicide but a result of harassment and oppression by them.
“The death of the victim cannot be considered a suicide simpliciter but that was a suicide being harassment, torture and oppression due to the demand of dowry…,” Additional Sessions Judge R B Singh said.
The judge observed that the woman had a seven-month-old baby when she hanged herself to death from a ceiling fan and would not take such a step without a sound reason.
It also noted that the husband and father in law demanded Rs two lakh from the woman for the construction of the house and added “it is not the duty of the father to get a house constructed for his daughter and son in law.”
“A mother who is having seven-month-old baby in her lap cannot be expected to die by hanging leaving behind her infant child, if she might not having some sound reason to end her life. In this case, victim was so harassed and tortured just after three months of her marriage for the dowry demand,” the judge said.
The court handed down the jail term to the woman’s husband Kailash Chand and his 60-year-old father Tara Dutt, while holding them guilty of offences under sections 498A (subjecting woman to cruelty) and 304B (dowry death) read with section 34(common intention) of IPC.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 on each of them with a direction that half of this amount be paid to parents of the victim after the decision on the appeal, if any.
It also directed Delhi Legal Services Authority to adequately compensate them in accordance with law.
The court, however, acquitted the woman’s mother-in-law and two brothers-in-law due to no specific allegations against them saying, “It is a common knowledge that when a young bride died other than in normal circumstances, there had been a tendency of the parents and other relatives of the deceased to implicate the whole family with a view to teach them a lesson.
“Hence, the testimonies of the public witnesses could not inspire confidence of the court so far as the mother in law and brothers-in-law are concerned.”
The court, while holding the father-son duo guilty of the offences, relied on the testimonies of prosecution witnesses including the woman’s parents, brother and other relatives.
“In this case, the husband and father in law demanded Rs two lakh from the woman for the construction of the house. The construction of the house cannot be termed as a domestic expenses. It is not the duty of the father to get a house constructed for his daughter and son in law,” it said.
( Source – PTI )