Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Delhi High Court upholds conviction in dowry death case

The Delhi High Court has dismissed an appeal in a dowry death case saying the prosecution has been able to prove all the three essential points: “the death of the woman within seven years of the marriage, subjecting her to cruelty just before her death for dowry and the reason of her death was other than normal circumstances.”

According to the post-mortem report, the victim was strangulated.

Manorama Devi and Vijay Pal Singh had got married in 1985. Jut a year after the marriage, Vijay Pal Singh had started demanding dowry from his father-in-law. He had initially demanded Rs.10,000 which was fulfilled by Manorama's father by borrowing the amount from someone.

Six months later, he again demanded the same amount which her father, Niader Singh, refused to fulfil saying his financial condition was weak.

Thereafter, Vijay Pal Singh started harassing his wife physically and mentally. In the meantime, he put forward a new demand before the victim's father – that he transfer a piece of land in his village to him. He had raised the demand 15 days before the death of his wife.

The Inderpuri police in South West Delhi had charge-sheeted Vijay Pal Singh for murder also. But the Additional Sessions Judge had acquitted him of this charge saying that the Sub-Divisional Magistrate concerned had not recorded the statement of the convict under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code as per the laid down procedures.

Holding the convict guilty of subjecting his wife to cruelty for dowry, the trial court had sentenced him to life imprisonment under Section 304B (Dowry Death) of the Indian Penal Code.

It had also sentenced him to two years of rigorous imprisonment under Section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty).

Upholding the lower court judgment, a Division Bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice V. K. Jain said: “……the ingredients necessary for the application of Section 304B of the IPC are clearly made out in the present case. The learned Additional Sessions Judge has also rightly concluded that the ingredients of Section 498A IPC also stand established beyond reasonable doubt.”

“In these circumstances, the appeal has no merit and the same is dismissed. The judgment and/or order on sentence passed by the learned Additional Sessions Judge stand confirmed,” the Bench said.

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