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A man and his parents who had been sentenced to life imprisonment by the lower court have been acquitted by the Bombay High Court for allegedly murdering his wife for dowry.

Kiran Patil and his parents Dinkar and Ushabai Patil have been acquitted by the Aurangabad bench of the High Court acquitted, rejecting the prosecution’s case that they murdered Kiran’s wife Dipali by setting her afire after she failed to bring dowry.

Kiran and Dipali were married in 2000, and according to the prosecution, since 2010 Dipali had started complaining to her father that she was being ill-treated, and in-laws were demanding that she bring Rs 1,50,000 as dowry.

She also complained that she had been assaulted for failing to meet the demand.

In August 2011, Dipali’s father was informed that she had died after suffering burn injuries. A case of dowry harassment and murder came to be registered against Kiran and his parents.

The sessions court accepted the prosecution’s case and sentenced the three to life imprisonment. But the division bench of Justices Sunil Deshmukh and A H Joshi, hearing the appeals, observed that the case was weak, and evidence of witnesses was speculative.

According to the bench, “The witnesses’ evidence was hearsay and they only apprehended that the victim was being harassed…And that the accused must have murdered Dipali. The marriage was more than ten years old on the date of the incident”

The court said, “The charge against the accused of causing hurt, intimidation, ill-treatment over dowry and murder is not at all suggested, much less proved”

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