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Vismaya dowry death case: Convict approaches Kerala HC challenging conviction, sentence
Kochi: Convict of the Vismaya dowry death case, Kiran Kumar, filed an appeal in the Kerala High Court challenging the trial court's sentence of 10 years and a fine of Rs 12.5 lakh on him.
Kiran Kumar was the husband of Vismaya and he was also the Assistant motor vehicle inspector.
Single Bench of Justice Kauser Edappagath admitted his appeal and issued notice to the respondents.
It was on June 21, 2021 that Vismaya V Nair, who was pursuing a Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicines, was found dead at Kiran's house at Poruvazhy in Sasthamakotta in Kollam district.
Kiran and Vismaya got married on May 30, 2020. Kiran was earlier suspended from the post of Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector after he was made an accused in the case. He was found guilty on May 23 this year and sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment on the very next day.
The appeal contended that "the conviction was perverse based on assumptions, conjunctures and surmises. There is no evidence to suggest that the appellant demanded or accepted dowry in any manner. The car was given as a gift, not dowry. Any excitement or frustration or an opinion regarding a gift does not make it dowry. Statements were taken in isolation disregarding the context is a perverse way of appreciation of evidence."
The prosecution failed to furnish any evidence of the unlawful demand. There is no evidence referring to any wilful act to drive the deceased to commit suicide or to sustain any grave danger. Quarrels of other nature which may be impulsive or incidental do not attract Section 498A, the plea said.
From the evidence, it is seen that on most of the days, the couple led a normal life. The prosecution failed to show that the appellant had subjected the deceased to cruelty or harassment for dowry soon before the incident to raise a presumption under Section 113 of the Indian Evidence Act. The prosecution's case was that there was a quarrel between the couple immediately before her death, but nothing more. Despite the appellant giving reasonable explanations for all incriminating material, they were disregarded by the trial court as if the burden to prove innocence beyond reasonable doubts was on the defence, added the plea.
It further said that the contents of recorded phone calls and chats were erroneously taken as admissible and proof of facts and that inadmissible statements were admitted as dying declaration. Evidence was suppressed at the genesis of the case and the FIS, FIR and even the facts are fabricated under pressure. Almost all materials relied on by the prosecution were deliberately not subjected to investigation to deny the appellant default bail. Appellant was subjected to cruel vilification and media trial which was utilised by the investigation agency to cause prejudice to him in multiple ways.
"The sentence imposed on him was rather excessive and that he was not given the benefit of doubt or even the presumption of innocence at any stage of the proceedings. Appellant has lost his job, reputation and life due to faulty investigation and perverse finding of the learned court," said the plea.
Kumar was dismissed from government service after his wife Vismaya died by suicide allegedly due to torture by his husband demanding more dowry.
Kiran Kumar was working as Assistant Motor Vehicle Inspector in the Motor Vehicle Department of Kerala while his wife Vismaya S V was a 22-year-old BAMS student.
The department enquiry found Kumar guilty under the Dowry Prohibition Act. The departmental action was taken under Kerala Civil Service Rule, 1960.
Kumar's wife Vismaya died by suicide in August 2021 upon being tortured by him for dowry. Kumar was working in the Motor vehicle department was found guilty in the departmental inquiry. (ANI)