A 30-year-old MCD school teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by a Delhi court for driving his wife to commit suicide within 10 months of the marriage by his incessant demands for dowry.
While jailing Naveen, additional sessions judge Gurdeep Singh also imposed a fine of Rs. 25,000 on him saying it is the duty of a husband to take care of his wife and save her from harassment and not be an oppressor himself.
The court had earlier held him him guilty of committing offences under sections 304-B (dowry death) and 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
"It (such crimes) needs to be checked with drastic measures, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case and that the woman was young, when she took extreme steps thinking the world is over for her despite being so talented," the court said.
The prosecution case dated back to September 28, 2005, when 25-year-old woman, a post-graduate in naturopathy and diploma holder in a slew of courses like lab technology etc and married to Naveen less than year earlier, was found hanged to death in her matrimonial home.
Her parents told police that their daughter had not committed suicide but was killed instead by her husband and in-laws for not satisfying their lust for more dowry.
The court sentenced Neveen, rejecting his plea for leniency on grounds of that he had cooperated during the trial, was in custody for three years and has old parents to support and a sister of marriageable age.
The parents of the newly-wed girl, in their complaint, had said their daughter was married to Naveen on November 26, 2004 and from the day one his family had begun demanding dowry.
They said that despite having been given a Hero Honda motorcycle and various household articles, besides jewelleries, their daughter's husband and his family's demand for dowry did not stop and they even used to beat her up for it.
The court, however, remarked "that parents of the bride must become sensitive towards her suffering and if they realise that their daughter is not being treated well by her in-laws, they should be ready to accept her back to the parental home."
It also questioned the lack of change in the mindset of the people, as despite stringent legal provisions and public interest messages against the demand of dowry, "even the educated people accept and expect dowry as a matter of pride."
"The question is why have we not been able to change the mindset of the society by making the law and using the same as social engineering," the court said.