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Dowry death case: Husband, in-laws acquitted as victim family turns hostile

By Kapil Datta, Greater Noida
PUBLISHED ON JAN 26, 2020 11:51 PM IST

A district court on January 22 acquitted all three persons accused in a dowry death case, after the victim’s parents turned hostile in court. Taking serious cognizance of the contradiction in their statements, Gautam Budh Nagar additional district and session’s judge (ADJ) Vineet Choudhary has ordered action to be taken against the complainants under Section 344 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

On August 20, 2015, complainant Ranvir Singh, the father of the victim Kajal, had lodged an FIR at the Dadri police station against her husband Mange, father-in-law Krishanjit and mother-in-law Imla Devi, alleging that they had burnt his daughter over a dowry demand of Rs 3 lakh and a car. Kajal was later taken to Safdarjung hospital, where she succumbed to burn injuries.

The police, on the basis of the complaint and statements given by Kajal’s parents and sister, had filed the chargesheet against her in-laws and husband. The accused, however, had pleaded innocence before the police and claimed that Kajal had attempted suicide and had died after few months of the burning incident at her father’s house.

Contrary to their complaints with the police, Kajal’s parents and sister informed the ADJ court that Kajal had committed suicide and her in-laws had not demanded any dowry. Her father also admitted before the court that after being discharged from the Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi, Kajal was living with him at his Sikandrabad residence and she died of septicemia on October 3, 2015.

Her sister Anchal also stated that in 2010, she and her sister Kajal were married to two brothers. She too claimed Kajal had committed suicide.

Sukhvir Singh, assistant district government counsel, said that the police had submitted Kajal’s statement given to the police before her death and that had supported the prosecution version. “Victim’s statement under Section 161 before her death is considered dying declaration. But, as Ranvir’s other daughter Anchal is married to brother of victim’s husband, apparently in some family pressure, he turned hostile and now stating she had not given any statement to police,” he said.

The court, however, ordered action against the complainant for giving false evidence under Section 344 of CrPC, which is summary procedure of trial for giving false evidence. Punishment under this section amounts to three months’ imprisonment or fine of Rs 500 or both.

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