HC says dowry akin to terrorism,quashes parole plea of 62-yr-old

Equating the practice of dowry with terrorism,a Delhi High Court bench has denied the appeal of a 62-year-old woman convicted of setting her daughter-in-law on fire.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi | Published: July 23, 2013 1:47 am

Equating the practice of dowry with terrorism,a Delhi High Court bench has denied the appeal of a 62-year-old woman convicted of setting her daughter-in-law on fire.

Observing that “dowry shatters the dreams” of young women as “in-laws are characterised to be out-laws for perpetrating terrorism which destroys the matrimonial home”,the court of Justice Sunita Gupta denied a plea by 62-year-old Bhateri Devi,who was convicted in 2003 for the death of her daughter-in-law Kiran.

Kiran had been burnt to death in 1998,less than a year after her marriage. According to the prosecution,Kiran had given a dying declaration to a doctor at the Safdarjung Hospital,and to an SDM,that she had been set on fire by her husband and mother-in-law after her family failed to fulfil their dowry demand of Rs 50,000.

The Sessions court convicted Bhateri and her son Rajesh under Sections 498A and 304B for causing death due to dowry harassment after they claimed that Kiran had poured kerosene over herself and set herself on fire. Devi had approached the High court with the plea that she had already spent over half of her seven-year sentence in jail and that she should be released on account of her age.

“Keeping in view the fact that a young bride was done to death within one year of her marriage out of greed of dowry,there is no ground for taking a liberal view… The learned Additional Sessions Judge has already taken a lenient view by imposing minimum sentence of seven years,” the court said.

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