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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

SC intervenes, man convicted for killing wife

Sumit Saxena, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 21, 2011
First Published: 23:32 IST(21/2/2011) | Last Updated: 23:34 IST(21/2/2011)

In a rare case, the Supreme Court intervention has led to the conviction of a man in the cold-blooded murder of his wife. The woman was strangulated for not getting sufficient dowry in 2007.

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The Delhi high court and trial court had turned a blind eye to the scientific evidence in supplementary chargesheet, which established that the woman was murdered. Both the court disagreed converting a dowry death case into a murder case.

A bench of justice Markandey Katju and justice Gyan Sudha Mishra said, "We are of the opinion that no part of the supplementary chargesheet should have been quashed. We do not agree with the high court that prejudice will be caused to the accused."

According to the prosecution, Divya Saundal (28), was found dead in mysterious circumstances at her matrimonial house in Hind Apartments, Dwarka sector-5, in March 2007. Divya had married to Sumit Saundal in January 2005.

Sakuntala Dagar, mother of the deceased, alleged that her daughter was tortured to death as her husband used to beat her and also threatened to kill her. He had started demanding dowry after six months of their marriage. The police registered a dowry death case and filed a supplementary chargesheet including section 302 IPC (murder charge) along with section 304 (dowry death).

Karan Singh, counsel for Sakuntala, told the apex court, "After probing the case, police recovered fresh scientific evidence and statements of few witnesses, which would establish Divya was murdered in cold blood."

Singh in a petition in the apex court contended that the trial court and high court have quashed the supplementary chargesheet stating that it will cause prejudice to the accused.

"We had requested the additional sessions judge Virender Bhatt to delay the judgement, as our application was pending in the Supreme Court, but the court did not pay heed to our plea and pronounced the conviction of the accused in dowry death," said Singh.

After the SC order, the trial court has called back its judgement and listed for further hearing in March 2011.

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