A man, along with his mother and two other family members, has been jailed for seven years by a Delhi court for the death of his wife following dowry demand with the judge saying the victim had been treated cruelly and had died in unnatural circumstances.
Additional Sessions Judge Virender Kumar Goyal awarded the jail term to Manjeet Singh, 31, his brother Mukesh Singh, 38, sister-in-law Sheela, 36, and mother Omwati, 55, after holding them guilty in the dowry death case in which the woman, Jyoti, had died within five years of her marriage.
“The incident has taken place within five years of the marriage. Accused have treated Jyoti with cruelty prior to her death and had harassed her. The death has taken place in unnatural circumstances. It is also proved from the deposition of prosecution witnesses that soon before her death, Jyoti was treated with cruelty by the accused for demand of dowry.”
“Besides the injury on neck appeared due to hanging, deceased was also found sustaining other injuries, which have not been opined as old one nor have been explained by the accused persons,” the court.
It imposed a fine of Rs. 5,000 each on the four convicts, residents of Sultanpuri.
It also awarded a compensation of Rs. four lakh to the two-and-a-half-year daughter of Jyoti on account of loss of love and affection and the cost of upbringing and maintenance of the minor.
Out of the compensation amount, Rs. 2.5 lakh and Rs. 1.5 lakh would be paid by Manjeet and Mukesh respectively.
The court, however, acquitted the four of the charges of murdering the victim, saying no evidence has been brought on record that they murdered her and it has been proved that she committed suicide by hanging herself.
According to the prosecution, Jyoti, who had married Manjeet in January 2007, was found hanging in her matrimonial house in November 2011.
The case was registered on the complaint of Jyoti’s brother alleging that her husband and in-laws used to harass and torture her for dowry and also beat her.
When their demands were fulfilled, they kept Jyoti well and thereafter, again they used to harass her, her brother had told the police.
A day before Jyoti’s death, her in-laws had called her mother and a heated conversation took place between them and when they tried calling the victim, her phone was switched off. The next day, they came to know that she had died by hanging herself, he had said.
While convicting Jyoti’s husband and in-laws, the court said from the deposition of witnesses, prosecution has proved beyond reasonable doubt that demand of dowry and cash was raised and twice Rs. 50,000 were given to Manjeet and his family members and for fulfilment of this demand, Jyoti was harassed and treated with cruelty.
Manjeet sought leniency in sentence saying he had lost his wife in this incident and was having clean antecedents.
Mukesh and Sheela submitted that a lenient view be taken as they have to take care of their 10 and 12-year-old kids whose life would be miserable without parents. Omwati pleaded that she was an aged widow and was also suffering from various ailments and a lenient view be taken towards her.
The court awarded the jail term to the four family members after considering their age, character and antecedents.