Calling them “butchers and monsters”, a Delhi court on Saturday sentenced a former army major and his second wife to 10 years in jail for brutally torturing his 13-year-old son from first marriage.
“The victim was the convicts’ son, whom they were morally and legally duty-bound to maintain, educate and make a good citizen. They were his guardians and protectors, but instead became butchers and monsters for him,” said additional sessions judge Virender Bhat, sentencing Lalit Balhara and wife Preeti.
The parents, who have a 14-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son of their own, were also fined Rs. 60,000 each.
The court had on Monday convicted the Balharas of battering the child with an intention to kill.
The child’s maternal grandparents had moved the Delhi high court in 2005, alleging that Lalit and Preeti were torturing him after the death of his mother — an army captain — in 2000.
The boy was frequently hospitalised with broken ribs, hands, bleeding skull and smashed teeth and ultimately developed physical deformities.
The court handed over the child’s custody to his maternal grandfather and ordered a probe in 2005.