A New Delhi couple has been sentenced to life for posing as siblings in an elaborate drama to help the man marry a differently abled woman and run away with the dowry that included more than Rs 75 lakh in cash.
Sessions judge Devendra Kumar Sharma handed the sentence on February 26 to Manish alias Mahendra, 36, and his first wife Vijeta alias Varsha for a crime he described as “totally different and peculiar”.
The couple was arrested from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh in 2011 and Rs 78 lakh, jewelery and an i10 car seized from their rented accommodation.
The marriage took place in 2010 after Manish answered an advertisement for a “ghar jamai” placed by the woman’s parents. He introduced Vijeta as his sister.
After the marriage, the woman’s parents gave Manish an apartment, a car, a huge amount of money, court documents said.
“Manish not only ravished the prosecutrix physically but he also ravished her mentally knowing very well that prosecutrix is a divyang (differently abled person) and is totally dependent upon him,” the judge said while handing down the sentence.
Describing Manish as a “manipulating man”, the added that had he not been arrested, the victim “might have never come to know about the criminal intention of the convict”.
Manish’s lawyer told the court that he was the sole caretaker of his 75-year-old mother and should be given a lenient punishment.
However, the court was moved by public prosecutor Sanjay Kumar’s argument that the husband and wife had hatched a plot so diabolical that “no leniency should be granted to (them) ...so that a message should also go to the society that any other person would not entangle in such type of offence.”