New Delhi, March 30: A court here on Monday said that one cannot blame in-laws for every suicide committed by a married woman and acquitted a man of charges dealing with dowry death and abetment of suicide.
"Suicide is a complex phenomenon," the court said, observing that one who commits suicide is not alive to disclose as to what was going on in his or her mind when he or she tried to kill themselves. [Govt plans to amend anti-dowry harassment law]
"There is no presumption that every suicide committed by a married woman in her in-laws' house or at her parents' house has to be because she was suffering harassment at the hands of her husband or her in-laws," said Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain. [Dowry demand can be made any time: Supreme Court]
Observing that public witnesses have not supported the prosecution's case, the court acquitted Jagmohan alias Nitin facing trial under various charges, including subjecting the wife to cruelty, dowry death and abetment of suicide after she was found hanging on July 31, 2014, in her residence at Sultanpuri in north Delhi.
According to statements of the woman's close relatives, including her mother, Jagmohan married Laali alias Leena in 2008 and initially treated her well but subsequently he started taunting her on the issue of dowry.
According to them, Laali committed suicide as she was fed up with physical and mental torture meted out to her. [Now wife's name must for registration of land]
Observing that the span of matrimonial life is not small, the court said: "Marriage had taken place in the year 2008 and minor quarrels or one or two stray incidents spread over a period of six years would not make it to be case falling within the ambit of cruelty or dowry death."
"It would be too harsh to hold that victim had committed suicide on account of cruelty or harassment meted out to her by the accused related to dowry or otherwise," it said, noting that the material placed on record by prosecution did not suggest any overt act on the part of accused indicating that he had abetted her suicide.
"...it is generally experienced that in such type of matters, when there is suicide which has nothing to do with the demand of dowry, husband and other relatives of the husband tend to flee away due to panic."
"Here, accused (Jagmohan) needs to be complimented as he brought her body down in the hope that perhaps she might be alive and rather took her to hospital and, therefore, it will not be possible for me to draw any adverse inference agains t him because of his said act particularly in view of the hostile testimony of public witnesses," said the judge.