New Delhi: A court here has acquitted a man accused of killing his new bride for dowry but expressed its displeasure over her death within three months of the marriage, observing that she was forced to marry to save her family`s honour.
"It is unfortunate that a young bride in her teens put an end to her life by setting herself on fire within three months of her marriage as she was forced to marry the accused in the name of honour of the family," Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Sharma said.
The court, however, acquitted the victim`s husband, Bishambhar.
It was alleged that Bishambhar was demanding dowry from his bride`s parents and beat her after they failed to fulfill his demand.
According to the prosecution, the 18-year-old woman set herself ablaze April 28, 2007. She was married to Bishambhar Jan 23, 2007. Bishambhar was 30 years old at the time.
Bishambhar`s wedding was earlier fixed with the young woman`s paternal aunt but she ran away from her house a day before the wedding.
The court observed that the parents of the woman married her to Bishambhar in an emergency situation to save their reputation in society after her aunt ran away.
One of the witnesses told the court that the woman committed suicide as she was not happy with her forced marriage with Bishambhar.
The court said the prosecution failed to prove that Bishambhar caused the death of his wife or she was subjected to cruelty or harassment for dowry.
It observed that no person in the neighbourhood made any allegation regarding any dowry demand or harassment of the woman by Bishambhar.
Consequently, the court acquitted Bishambhar from the charges of murder, subjecting his wife to cruelty, and dowry death under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.