New Delhi: A Delhi court has acquitted a man of the charges of cruelly treating his wife for dowry and compelling her to commit suicide, saying he was a "victim of circumstances" and that no evidence was found to establish that he harassed her.
Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Sharma, while absolving Delhi resident Bishambhar, said that the deceased (wife) was also a victim of the conspiracy hatched by her father to forcibly marry her in place of her paternal aunt, who had run away from the house a day before marriage.
"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," the judge said.
The court said that it has no hesitation in concluding that the accused never demanded any dowry or subjected his wife to mental or physical cruelty before her death.
"Prosecution has failed to prove that the accused caused the death of Reena or that she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by the accused or she was subjected to any physical or mental cruelty at any point of time since the date of her marriage till the date of her death," it said.
The court also said that the woman was not happy with her forced marriage with the accused who was much older and because of this she didn't have cordial relations with her parents.
According to prosecution, on April 28, 2007 a complaint was lodged by the father of the deceased alleging that she was murdered by her husband and in-laws for want of dowry.
Bishambhar, his father Chanderpal, his mother Ramshree, brother-in-law Pramod and sister Baby were arrested.
However, the court later discharged all the other accused except for Bishambhar who was tried for offence under section 498A (cruelty), 302 (murder) and 304-B (dowry death).