The Bombay high court has upheld a lower court order imposing life sentence on four persons of a family for killing a woman in 2006 as she was unable to meet dowry demands.
Justice Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani, on July 18, upheld the sentence after observing that the prosecution had established the guilt of the accused.
Hearing their appeals against the conviction, the HC awarded an additional two-year jail term to the victim's husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and sister-in-law for offences such as cruelty and screening evidence.
The appeals were filed by Anil Nulle (husband), Appasaheb (father-in-law), Indubai (mother-in-law) and Geeta Patil (sister-in-law), all residents of Ganganagar Hupri in Hatkangale taluka of Kolhapur district.
As the appellants are on bail, the HC granted them six weeks' time to surrender to the authorities, failing which the trial court has been asked to take appropriate steps for securing their presence for undergoing the sentence.
The deceased, Laxmi, was the eldest daughter of Mahadevi Bhosale, a resident of Nipani in Belgaum district of adjoining Karnataka. She got married to Anil on December 12, 2001. She was initially treated well in the matrimonial home.
However, troubles soon began for Laxmi. During her pregnancy, a request of her parents for sending her for delivery at their place at Nipani was turned down by in-laws. Laxmi's parents were reprimanded for not honouring Anil since marriage by presenting valuables on festivals.
The accused demanded from Laxmi's father an amount of Rs 25,000 towards money spent for delivery of child. However, Laxmi's father refused, saying he had financial constraints.
Laxmi's father later relented and borrowed a sum of Rs 5,000 from his brother and gave it to Laxmi's in-laws, saying that is all he could give.
On October 14, 2006, Laxmi's body was found from a well. A stick was found at the instance of Anil. The prosecution alleged that the accused had killed Laxmi with a stick and threw her body into the well.