New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday observed that married women in India are "safer on the street than in their matrimonial homes" as it upheld life imprisonment for a man convicted of killing his wife.
A division bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Mukta Gupta upheld the trial court's July 14 decision of sentencing Pradeep to life imprisonment for killing his wife in May 15, 2011, dismissing his appeal as it noting Pradeep's offence is that of murder of his wife.
"Every tenth murder appeal we are hearing has the husband before us as the convicted accused. The victim is the wife and the place of the crime is the matrimonial house.
"The other nine out of ten murder appeals which we are dealing with has the place of the crime outside the house and the victim is a male. It appears that married women in India are safer on the street than in their matrimonial homes," the order stated.
"It is trite that where a wife is murdered in her matrimonial house and the presence of the husband is established, law casts an obligation on the husband to explain how his wife died and if he does not do so, an adverse inference can be drawn against the husband of being the assailant," added the court.
As per police, Pradeep had murdered his wife with a spade in a building on Najafgarh area of west Delhi but he claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case.
However, the bench said: "The appellant (Pradeep) absconding from the place of the crime is proof of his guilt. If somebody else had injured his wife, it would be the appellant and not his brother who would have taken (the wife) Santoshi to the hospital."