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Can't convict husband accused in dowry case without proper proofs: Delhi HC

News Agencies | Updated on: 4 December 2016, 11:32 IST

It is a heinous crime to hang one's wife to death but a husband cannot be convicted without any reliable evidence, a Delhi court said while acquitting a man and his family members in a murder and dowry death case.

The court freed the man, his father and two sisters, all residents of east Delhi, saying there was no cogent evidence that the woman was subjected to cruelty or harassment for demand of dowry.

"While it is proved that husband being the companion in the house ought to be able to explain as to the circumstances under which his wife was found lying hanged in the bedroom but there also exists an obligation on the part of the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond all reasonable doubt."

"Undoubtedly, it is a social and heinous crime to have the wife hanged to death but without any proper and reliable evidence, the court cannot by itself justify its conclusion of murder by the husband," Additional Sessions Judge Sanjeev Kumar Malhotra said.

While the victim woman used to stammer and was having hearing disability, her husband was deaf and mute. The court absolved the four accused of the charges under sections 304B (dowry death), 498A (subjecting woman to harassment by husband and in-laws), 302 (murder) and 34(common intention) of the IPC.

The court said prosecution has failed to prove its case against the accused beyond reasonable doubt, benefit of which must go in favour of the accused.

According to prosecution, the couple got married in May 2006, and the woman was found hanging in her matrimonial house in April 2008.

The complaint was lodged by the victim's father at Kalyanpuri Police Station against her husband and in-laws on the allegations that she was harassed by them for dowry which led to her death.

The court said except for demand of motorcycle which was alleged to have been made after one-and-a-half month of the marriage, there are no specific allegation in respect of demand of dowry or harassment by the accused.

It noted that the prosecution witnesses said that the demand for motorcycle was withdrawn as the woman's husband could not get driving licence due to his hearing and speaking disabilities.

--PTI

First published: 4 December 2016, 11:32 IST
 
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