New Delhi, Aug 1: A 30-year-old man has been sent to eight years in jail here for harassing his wife for dowry and compelling her to commit suicide within four months of their marriage, with the court relying on a note left behind by the victim in which she also accused him of cheating on her.
The court, however, refused to award maximum sentence to the man, a north-west Delhi resident, for the offence under section 304B (dowry death) of IPC keeping in mind his young age and clean antecedents. "Suffice it to say that not only the convict was having some extra-marital affair, he also committed atrocities upon his wife by making demand of dowry.
The cruelty is also writ large as she was denied entry in her matrimonial home unless and until she was able to meet such demands of dowry. "Handwritten note left behind by victim lays everything bare," Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain said.
"I need not remind myself that suicide had taken place within three-and-a-half months of marriage. It also stands proved that victim was maltreated seven-eight days after her marriage and she had to pen down her agony, the contents of which have unlocked the cause behind the suicide," the judge said while awarding eight years rigorous imprisonment.
The court also relied on the testimonies of victim's parents and relatives and said they corroborated her version in the written note that the accused had maltreated her and demanded dowry.
While refusing to award him life term, the maximum punishment for the offence of dowry death, the court said, the "convict is hardly 30 years of age and his conduct during the trial remained very submissive and calm".
The offence under section 304B of IPC attracts minimum sentence of seven years and the maximum of life imprisonment. According to prosecution, the 18-year-old victim had married the accused on March 7, 2014 and she committed suicide at her parental home on June 17, 2014.
It said the accused started beating her and torturing her a week after marriage for bringing insufficient dowry and later the victim also discovered that her husband was having an extra-marital affair. She left the matrimonial house and went to her parental home where she hanged herself after feeling dejected, it said.
An FIR was lodged eventually by her parents but the accused husband absconded. However, he surrendered two months later. The accused had denied the allegations of dowry demand and also claimed he did not have any illicit relationship.