Dowry harassment convict jailed for two years

Shahdara resident Ajay Rawat had pleaded for mercy saying he had two minor children to take care of.

New Delhi: A man held guilty of harassing his
wife for dowry has been sentenced to two years in jail with a
Delhi court saying that it cannot accept his plea seeking
leniency for the sake of his children when he himself had ill
treated their mother, who died in mysterious circumstances.

Shahdara resident Ajay Rawat, whose wife had died after a
fall from the roof of her matrimonial house following a fight
with him, had pleaded for mercy saying he had two minor
children to take care of. He, however, had been acquitted of
the charges of pushing her off the roof to her death.

"In offence punishable under section 498-A (husband or
relatives subjecting woman to cruelty) of the IPC, there will
always be the children of convict and the court cannot lose
the sight of the fact that they were also the children of the
mother who was ill treated," said Additional Sessions Judge
Gurdeep Singh, dismissing his mercy plea and sentencing
Rawat on charges of harassing his wife.

Expressing concern over the rise in number of cases of
marital discord and dowry harassment, the court said they
need to be curbed with deterrent punishment.

"The cases of this nature are on rise. The cruelty takes
place within the four walls of the house unless the punishment
is severe, it will not have deterrent effect," the judge said.
Rawat had sought leniency on the ground that he had two
minor children - a 10-year-old son and a 13-year-old daughter,
who need him in the absence of their mother.

The court had convicted Rawat, noting that he used to
demand money from his wife. "In view of the past conduct of
Rawat and the demands made by him amounts to cruelty within
the definition of Section 498-A IPC," it said.

The court, however, acquitted him and his 76-year-old
mother of the charges of destroying evidence and culpable
homicide not amounting to murder.

According to prosecution, Rawat had married the victim in
1996 and he along with his mother used to harass, taunt and
beat her.

Police had told the court that on May 13, 2005, the woman
had died after a fall from the house terrace. It had alleged
the accused had beaten her up and had pushed her off the
terrace of the house after a quarrel with her -- a charge,
which could not be proved.

Police had said Rawat and his family used to demand
money from her and when she could not arrange it, they used to
abuse and beat her.


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