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In-laws increasingly becoming outlaws, says Delhi HC

In-laws increasingly becoming outlaws, says Delhi HC concerned over rise in cases of harassment and killing of newlywed girls for dowry. Harish V Nair reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2013 20:09 IST
Harish V Nair
Harish V Nair
Hindustan Times

The Delhi High Court has expressed serious concern over rise in killing of newly-wed girls for dowry and wondered if in-laws were increasingly becoming “outlaws”.

“ There is an alarming rise in the number of cases involving harassment to the newly wed girls for dowry. In-laws are characterized to be outlaw for perpetrating terrorism which destroys the matrimonial home. The terrorist is dowry, and it is spreading tentacles in every possible direction”, justice Sunita Gupta said.

Equating dowry harassment to one of the worst kind of terrorism, the judge said “marriages are known to be made in heaven. A bride leaves the parental home to the matrimonial home, leaving behind sweet memories there, with a hope that she will see a new world full of love in her groom?s house. She expects not only to be a daughter-in-law, but a daughter in fact”.

The remarks as the court dismissed the appeal filed by a young woman’s husband and mother-in-law sentenced in 2003 to seven years jail for burning her to death nine months after the marriage for not meeting dowry demands.

Kiran had married Rajesh on December 13, 1998. She was continuously harassed for dowry and was ultimately burnt to death on October 28, 1999. Pleading for leniency, mother-in-law told the court that she was 67 years old and had already undergone half of the sentence.

Opposing any relief, public prosecutor Fizani Hussain said: “It is a crime against woman. A young bride was done to death within one year of her marriage out of greed of dowry. Trial judge has already taken a lenient view by handing down just a seven year term while the maximum could have been a life imprisonment “. ENDs

Conviction rates in bride burning cases have dipped from an already weak 37% in 2000 to 34% in 2012.

In section 498A cases (simple dowry harassment cases, the conviction rates are even lower: just 19%, although reported cases were 94,000 in 2010.

Source—National Crime Records Bureau

First Published: Jul 20, 2013 20:04 IST