New Delhi, Oct 11: A nine-year-old boy's deposition before a Delhi court on the cruel treatment meted out to his mother has landed his father in jail for six years for abetting her suicide.
Additional Sessions Judge Hemani Malhotra relied on the minor's statement while convicting the 36-year-old Delhi resident and said evidence led by the prosecution conclusively establishes a direct nexus between the cruelty meted out by him to his wife and the suicide committed by her.
The court awarded six years rigorous imprisonment to Manohar Lal and denied any lenient sentence to him saying his conduct drove his wife Santosh to take the extreme step and deprived their three minor children of the love and affection of their mother.
It said the child "very blatantly" refuted the suggestion that he was tutored by the relatives of his deceased mother.
"There was no reason for the complainant (boy) to depose so strongly against his own father. Rather, it was extremely courageous of this boy to testify against his sole living parent after the death of his mother not once but thrice," the court said.
"I have no hesitation to hold that the prosecution has successfully and conclusively established that Santosh was subjected to cruelty by Manohar Lal and that he abetted the suicide of his wife.
Resultantly, accused Lal is held guilty under sections 498A (subjecting woman to cruelty)/ 306 (abetment to suicide) of the IPC and stands convicted accordingly," the judge said.
According to prosecution, the woman had committed suicide at her matrimonial house by consuming pesticide in July, 2012.
She was taken to hospital where she was declared brought dead. A case was registered against Lal at Sarai Rohilla Police Station on the complaint of their minor son who told police about the cruelty meted out to his mother by his father.
The child told the court that on the day of the incident, his father had beaten his mother and also abused her over the dish which she had prepared for lunch.
Lal threatened that he would kill her or else she should die. After sometime, his father told the children that their mother has consumed something and she was lying on floor, the child deposed in the court.
The court in its judgment said that "from the evidence, it can be safely concluded that sum total and cumulative effect of the circumstances coupled with the regular beatings and ill-treatment meted to the woman by the man drove her to commit suicide".