HC orders retrial in dowry death case
This may not be a case as big as that of Jessica Lal, Priyadarshini Matto, Aarushi or Ruchika. But it bears striking similarities.
Small-time garment seller Phoolchand on Tuesday won a major legal battle in his quest to punish “the killers” of his daughter Sushma and her one-and-a-half year old daughter who died of burn injuries at her matrimonial home in Gurgaon more than six years ago on her fifth marriage anniversary.
The Delhi High Court ordered a retrial of the accused — Sushma’s husband, who is a practicing lawyer, and his parents — a year after a lower court acquitted them without examining crucial witnesses including her family in a case of double murder and dowry harassment case against them.
The acquittal was shocking for Sushma’s family as the Supreme Court had in March 2007 transferred the trial from Gurgaon to Delhi finding merit in their argument that prosecutor had colluded with the victim’s husband who was a lawyer and the doctor too had tampered evidence at his behest.
On Phoolchand’s plea justice PK Bhasin said he had no doubt that this case fell in that category of cases where it can be said that there has been a gross miscarriage of justice.
All accused have been asked to appear before the trial court on February 5, 2011. Statement of Sushma’s father and other crucial witnesses omitted earlier will also be recorded.
Sushma’s husband and his family contended that after an acquittal, only the state had the power to appeal. But court said an acquittal can be set aside on a plea by victim’s family and if it is found that there had been a gross miscarriage of justice.