A Delhi court on Monday acquitted a man, his parents and elder brother of charges of beheading and stabbing to death his wife after she had 'failed' to bring sufficient dowry.
"The accused persons are acquitted of the charges as the prosecution failed to prove their guilt beyond reasonable doubt," Additional Sessions Judge S K Sarvaria said.
The court absolved Ashok, husband of the victim, his elder brother Vinod and parents Bigha Ram and Vidya of charges of murder, dowry harassment, destruction of evidence and group liability under the IPC.
The victim Rekha was beheaded and stabbed several times allegedly by Ashok in active connivance of other co accused on the night January 20, 2005, at her matrimonial home at Sangam Vihar.
The probe in the sensational killing took many twists and turns as Ashok, who was the complainant in the case, was later arrayed as an accused after the investigation was taken over by the crime branch of Delhi Police following a public outrage over the issue.
Initially, Rajender, a relative of Ashok, was made an accused and police also recorded his statement in which he allegedly confessed his complicity in the offence.
Later, the parents of the victim told the police it was the complainant (Ashok) who along with others killed their daughter as she did not bring sufficient dowry. Consequently, the husband of the victim and others were arrested.
During the arguments, defence counsel M S Khan told the court that the parents of the victim did not apprise the police at the first given opportunity about the allegation that their daughter was being harassed for bringing less dowry.
Moreover, the postmortem report did not support the time of offence as alleged in the chargesheet, he said adding that the accused Rajender, who later became a prosecution witness, also did not support the case.
The statement of Rajender was recorded by police soon after the offence and then he was also produced before a court. However, he later testified that he was unconscious for over two months after being hit by Ashok, the defence counsel said.
The court said though the offence was committed, the prosecution failed to prove that it was Ashok and his relatives who had committed the crime.