Husband, in-laws freed on murder charge but jailed for torture
New Delhi: Absolving a man and his parents on the charges of murder and dowry death of his wife, a Delhi court has blamed the State for not providing adequate medical facilities to the woman during an emergency after she was admitted to hospital.
“It seems to be a case of not providing adequate medical facilities to the citizens on the part of State, due to which, bed could not be made available to the woman,” Additional Sessions Judge Virender Kumar Goyal said, while acquitting them of the charges under section 302 (murder) and 304B (dowry death) of IPC.
The court, however, held the woman’s husband Hardeep and his parents guilty of harassing and torturing her for dowry under section 498A (subjecting woman to cruelty) of IPC and sentenced them to three years in jail for the offence.
While absolving her husband and in-laws of the charges of dowry death and murder, the court rejected the contention of the victim’s family that she was poisoned as the post-mortem report did not suggest the same.
It noted that as per the doctors, the victim was suffering from acute gastroenteritis and dehydration and on not being provided a bed in hospital, she died.
“In my view there could not be any negligence on the part of her in-laws in providing treatment to the woman rather it seems that some how her disease went out of control and she could not be saved…” the judge said.
However, relying on the testimony of the woman’s uncle, who had lodged the complaint against her in-laws, the court handed down the maximum jail term to her husband Hardeep, 24, and his aged parents for harassing her within one year of her marriage.
“The prosecution witnesses have corroborated each other that whenever the woman visited them, she told about the atrocities of the accused persons caused to her for demand of dowry,” the judge said while convicting her in-laws under section 498A of IPC.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on each of the three convicts and also directed them to pay Rs 25,000 each as compensation to the victim’s father.
According to prosecution, on January 7, 2011, the woman was admitted to a hospital and her family was informed that she was unwell.
After she was shifted to another hospital due to non-availability of bed, the woman died and her uncle Kanhaiya lodged a complaint against her in-laws alleging that they poisoned her for not bringing sufficient dowry.