A SPECIAL women’s court on Wednesday convicted a 39-year old man and his parents for the murder of his 28-year old wife in 2012. Sumitkumar Yadav, who was manager in a private bank, his mother Sunita (60) and father Akhilesh (70) were sentenced to life for the murder of Madhu Yadav, an advertising professional.
Special Judge A S Shende convicted the three for murder, dowry death and cruelty. While Sunita and Akhilesh had been released on bail after spending two years in prison, Sumit had been in prison for the past four years. According to the prosecution, Madhu, the daughter of a retired Navy commander, met Sumit through a matrimonial advertisement and they married on May 1, 2011.
Madhu allegedly began facing harassment, including dowry demands from her in-laws. Madhu died on April 17, 2012 at her residence in Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai. The prosecution stated that while the in-laws had tried to pass the death as a suicide, the post-mortem report confirmed she died due to strangulation.
The court observed that such cases were rising. “In spite of several enactments, such cases are happening in big numbers. There is a need of change. As per social norms, even if a girl is educated and independent financially as well as socially, she is bound in a marriage she cannot break easily, leading to increase in such offences,” judge Shende said.
While public prosecutor Kalpana Hire sought life imprisonment till death or death sentence, the court contended it may not be a case of rarest of rare crime deserving death. “There is a need to stamp out such crimes with an iron hand…the three accused should be sentenced to life,” the court observed.
Navy commander C H Yadav (retired) said, “I have really struggled to see this day. I had to resettle from Delhi to Mumbai to ensure I can attend court proceedings. On the night before the murder, my daughter had messaged me she was not safe but I insisted she try to settle things after a reassurance from her husband. I will repent for having done that for the rest of my life.”