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Delhi: Court convicts husband and in-laws of woman in 15-year-old dowry death case

New Delhi: A Delhi Court in Dwarka District in a dowry death case has convicted the husband, father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law of the woman, found dead within one and half years of her marriage 15 years ago.
The case was registered in October 2007 at Dwarka Police station. The court held that the deceased was subjected to cruelty by the husband and his family members. However, the court has acquitted the accused persons from the offences of murder and destruction of evidence.
Additional Sessions Judge Gautam Manan convicted Pawan, his father, mother and brother under sections 498 A, 304 B and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court held that the prosecution has been successful in proving its case beyond reasonable doubt against accused persons Pawan, Kaptan Singh, Satbiro and Daljit for the offences punishable under Section 498-A/304-B/34 Indian Penal Code. They are convicted for said offences.
Accused persons are acquitted for an offence punishable under Section 302/34 IPC and 201/34 Indian Penal Code for want of evidence, the court said on January 3.
The court observed, "There is evidence on record that harassment of the deceased started from the time of her marriage and continued till her death.
"Incidents narrated by prosecution witnesses cannot be segregated from one another and they all form a part of the continuous transaction. These incidents qualify the criteria of 'soon before death' due to rule of the proximity of time because it was a continuing ordeal having continuity of action and community of purpose, " the judge noted.
Nonetheless, there is a specific incident of October 2, 2007, a day before death wherein demand for dowry was raised by the accused persons, the court further noted.

The court said that firm, cogent and consistent testimonies of Prosecution witnesses have proved the continuous dowry demands made by the accused persons and harassment given
by accused persons to the deceased due to non-fulfilment of dowry demands and subjected her to cruelty soon before her death by the accused persons due to which the deceased died
under unnatural circumstances.
The court also referred to a Letter lending support to the version of prosecution witnesses and
corroborates allegations.
Let the convicts be heard on the point of sentence on January 30, 2023, the judge said in the order of January 3.
Accused Pawan Kumar (husband of deceased), Satbiro (mother-in-law of deceased), Kaptan Singh (father-in-law of deceased) and Daljeet Singh (brother-in-law of deceased) were facing trial in the present case on allegations that they subjected deceased Bharti alias Priya to cruelty on account of demand of dowry and on 03.10.2007 deceased Bharti was found dead otherwise than under normal circumstances within one and half years of her marriage and accused persons in furtherance of their common intention committed the offence punishable under sections of 304B/34 of the IPC.

The accused persons were also charge-sheeted for committing the murder of the deceased and also for the disappearance of the evidence.
The court noted facts emerged during the trial that Deceased Bharti got married to Pawan on April 25, 2006, and she met an unnatural death on October 3, 1997, that is within seven years of her marriage.
As per the court, the Continuous demands of dowry (cash, gold and car) were made by the accused persons from the deceased and her father which he failed to fulfil completely.
The Cruelty inflicted on the deceased on account of insufficient dowry soon before her death.
The court also said that the matter is not investigated to find out the murder trail.
"There is insufficient material on record to point out the mode, manner and persons responsible for causing the death of the deceased nor any evidence has been led to prove allegations in respect of disappearance of material evidence," the court stated further. (ANI)

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