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dowry deathA woman’s in-laws, accused of torturing her for dowry and setting her ablaze, have been acquitted by a Delhi court which refused to rely on her dying declaration.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Gautam Manan freed the parents-in-law and two brothers-in-law of the woman, who succumbed to severe burn injuries, noting that allegations of torture and dowry demand made by her were not supported by her own family members.

“None of the prosecution witnesses has supported the allegations of treating the woman with cruelty relating to demand of dowry by the accused persons. Thus, the prosecution has failed to prove the charges against them of causing mental and physical cruelty to her…” the court said.

It said that the statement of the woman was recorded three times separately in the hospital before a executive magistrate, a sub-inspector and Chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) before her death ten days after the incident.

The court noted that in her initial two statements, she did not accuse her in-laws while in the third statement given before the DCW Chairperson, she had alleged torture by them.

The judge also observed that even if the allegations made in her dying declaration before the DCW Chairperson were true, they were not supported by her father and brother.

“Thus, I find that the dying declaration neither gives the true account of the incident nor does it inspire confidence. The accused persons cannot be held guilty of murdering the woman on the basis of said dying declaration,” the judge said.

Dowry death: court frees in-laws

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