The Delhi High Court has allowed the prosecution of a woman’s husband, mother-in-law and father-in-law for dowry harassment.
The woman, Kanak (26) (name changed), had committed suicide after she was allegedly harassed for having given birth to a girl child.
Justice V.B. Gupta said, “In the present case, as per the statement of the complainant (the deceased’s mother), after she gave birth to a girl child, her in-laws started taunting her on petty issues and tortured her. There are sufficient grounds for framing charges under Section 498A IPC (dowry harassment)”. The court, however, quashed charges of abetment of suicide against them saying there was no evidence.
Kanak’s burnt body was found inside the toilet of a servant quarter attached to a bungalow in the posh Defence Colony area on July 16, 2007. She had married two years ago.
Her mother told the police that no demand of dowry had been made by her in-laws but she had given some dowry as per her ability.
She said even after the marriage, her in-laws never made any dowry demands. She said, everything began about a year ago after her daughter gave birth to a girl child. Kanak’s mother alleged that her in-laws and husband often used to abuse her daughter saying she does not do any work.
A day before her suicide, Kanak had allegedly told her mother that she could no longer tolerate the harassment and wished to live separately in the servant quarter with her husband.
Challenging the charges of dowry harassment and abetment of suicide against them, all the accused argued that even the deceased’s mother had not made any specific allegations of dowry demand against them or any kind of abetment to commit suicide.
But the court lent credence to the contention of the police that as per the statement of many prosecution witnesses, there were dowry demands and that the deceased was subject to cruelty after she gave birth to a female child.
The police also reminded the court that the woman committed suicide a day after she shifted from her in-laws house.