The Delhi High Court on Thursday sentenced the husband and mother-in-law of a woman, Pinky Kaur, to life imprisonment for murdering her 56 days after marriage for not meeting their dowry demands.
The High Court relied extensively on circumstantial evidence to uphold their conviction by the trial court in October 2004.
Interestingly, Pinky’s parents and siblings turned hostile and denied that she had been harassed for dowry. Initially, they had accused her husband Balbir Singh and Mother-in-law Kamla Devi, of killing her.
The Bench, headed by Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, was surprised that the victim’s parents had tried to save the culprits—something quite unheard of in such cases.
“The present case highlights the unfortunate plight of the girl child where the parents and siblings of the deceased girl, betrayed the love and trust reposed by the deceased in them by helping her wrongdoers go scot free,” the court said.
Pinky had married Balbir Singh on December 5, 2001. Her body, with burn injuries and strangulation marks on the neck, was found at her matrimonial home in Tilak Vihar on January 31, 2002. Her brother told the police that she was being constantly harassed for dowry. Only her husband and mother-in-law stayed with her.
“Prosecution proves such facts where from a reasonable inference can be drawn that appellants are murderers and they furnished false explanations to dispel the said inference. Appellants are guilty of the murder”, the court said.