A man and his father have been sentenced to varying jail terms of life imprisonment and 10 years by the Delhi High Court in the dowry death case of his wife, who ended her life after consuming pesticide.
The high court upheld the conviction and sentence of the father-son duo, who were held guilty of harassing and cruelly treating the woman for dowry which led to her death in May 1998.
“A careful analysis of the testimony of prosecution witness 1 (brother of victim), which in our view is truthful and reliable and corroborated by the fact that the demands were made even in the past and in fact, succumbing to the demand, Rs 50,000 were paid in three installments, we are of the view that the trial court had rightly convicted the two appellants for dowry death,” a bench of Justices G S Sistani and Sangita Dhingra Sehgal said.
The court, which upheld the conviction of the victim’s mother-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law for the offence of harassing her, absolved them of the charge of dowry death saying no specific incident was mentioned by witnesses to show that they had tortured or demanded dowry from the deceased and her parents just before her death.
They were sentenced to imprisonment already undergone by them during the trial before the lower court.
The woman’s in-laws had moved the high court challenging the trial court’s judgment.
Regarding the woman’s husband and her father-in-law, the high court said it has emerged from the evidence that they had demanded Rs two lakh for the purpose of business.
It asked the two men, who are out on bail, to surrender before Tihar Jail and serve their sentence.
The man and his family members had denied the allegations and claimed that there was no harassment to the woman.
According to the prosecution, the woman and the man had got married in December 1996 here and her parents had given a number of dowry articles including jewellery, car, and electronic appliances.
After two months of marriage, the woman’s in-laws started harassing and taunting her and made several demands, it had said.
In May 1998, the woman’s husband left her at her parental house and refused to take her back unless her parents give him Rs two lakh. Her parents, however, sought time to arrange the money and sent her back to her matrimonial house, it had said.
On the next day, when the woman’s brother called her, he was informed by her in-laws that she was lying unconscious and when he reached their house, the woman was taken to hospital where she died the same day.