HC overturns lower court order after 20 years, sentences man for dowry death

Tuesday, 28 June 2022 | PNS | NAINITAL

Quashing the order of a lower court issued 20 years ago acquitting a man accused of murdering his wife for dowry, the Uttarakhand high court has sentenced the man to seven years of rigorous imprisonment and Rs 20,000 fine. The division bench of acting chief justice Sanjaya Kumar Mishra and justice RC Khulbe issued this order while hearing the case on Monday.

According to the case details, on June 7, 2002 a man accused of murdering his wife for dowry was acquitted by the court of the additional session judge of Udham Singh Nagar. After about 20 years, the State government appealed against the order of the lower court in the high court. Accepting the appeal of the State government and quashing the order of the lower court, the high court found the accused to be guilty of murdering his wife for dowry and sentenced him to seven years rigorous imprisonment and Rs 20,000 fine. In its order, the high court division bench stated that as per the Dowry Prohibition Act, if a woman dies due to burns or violence within seven years of marriage and if the woman had earlier complained of violence by her in-laws and harassment a case of dowry harassement or death has to be lodged. The lower court had ignored this aspect.

According to the prosecution, on July 30, 2001, Sunil Kumar lodge a report in Majhaula police post in Khatima stating that his sister was married to Rajendra Singh Yadav in 1998. The complainant stated that soon after marriage Singh started harassing his wife for dowry. He further stated that 20 days before her death, the family of the woman had given Rs 30,000 in dowry while promising to pay more on the occasion of Rakshabandhan. However, kerosene was sprinkled on her and she was burnt to death before the remaining payment could be made, the complainant said.

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