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Court brings relief to 75-year-old woman jailed in dowry case

Repeated non-appearance in court in connection with a dowry case proved dear for a 75-year-old woman,who had to spend 15 days behind bars before the magistrate allowed her release on bail considering her advanced age and poor health.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
March 7, 2009 2:53:37 am

Repeated non-appearance in court in connection with a dowry case proved dear for a 75-year-old woman,who had to spend 15 days behind bars before the magistrate allowed her release on bail considering her advanced age and poor health. Gyan Kaur had been named as an accused,along with her son,in a case lodged by her daughter-in-law,who accused the two of treating her cruelly over dowry demands.

The FIR was lodged in 2002 at the Pashim Vihar police station and Kaur faced a maximum jail term of three years under the penal provisions.

As the case proceeded,Kaur became irregular in attending the hearings and sought frequent exemptions from personal appearance through her counsel. However,since September last,she stopped coming to the court altogether without any explanation,which “compelled” the magistrate to issue warrants. As the warrants too failed to bring her to court,the police initiated proceedings to declare her a proclaimed offender and the magistrate acceded to the request.

The police subsequently arrested Kaur from her house on February 16 and produced her before the court,which sent her to Tihar Jail for 14 days’ judicial custody. Kaur’s counsel then moved her bail plea before the Metropolitan Magistrate Archana Sinha.

The court was also told that Kaur was apologetic of her unexplained absence and promised not to repeat the mistake. The prosecutor,however,opposed Kaur’s plea,accusing her of deliberately delaying the trial by way of non-appearance before the court on fixed dates. While the magistrate found substance in prosecutor’s argument regarding the delay in court proceedings owing to her absence,she could not overlook the facts that Kaur was a septuagenarian woman suffering with several ailments.

“The accused is an old lady who’s around 75,has a weak physical condition,but undertakes to appear regularly for trial on future dates,” noted the court. Adopting a lenient view of her advanced age and physical condition,the court then ordered Kaur’s release on bail on furnishing two personal and surety bonds of Rs 50,000 each.

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