Three acquitted in dowry death case

A Delhi court has acquitted a man and his parents of the charges of causing death of the former`s wife for dowry.

Updated: Nov 14, 2010, 10:15 AM IST

New Delhi: A Delhi court has acquitted a man and his parents of the charges of causing death of the former`s wife for dowry, noting that the accused were financially well-off to raise such demands.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau absolved Pankaj Raj, his father Surender Kumar and mother Kamlesh of the charges under Section 304 B (dowry death) and 498 A (cruelty) of the IPC.

The court took into account a number of facts like Raj`s earnings, the gifts he had given to his wife Ritu, the places he took her to on their honeymoon, besides the financial condition of Kumar and the victim.

It said that Ritu was maintaining an independent bank account and had even paid Rs 40,000 to her brother for buying a motorbike after her marriage with Raj on December 9, 2005 to conclude that she herself was capable of taking care of her financial requirements.

The court further said the demands for articles like TV and AC do not appear "plausible" as Raj was the only son of his parents and his sister was settled in the USA as professor at Harvard University.
It also said that besides the mother and brother of the deceased, no one else from her family including the father was cited as witness by the prosecution to prove their charges.

"It is clear from the evidence of the witnesses that the deceased has committed suicide but it cannot be related to any dowry-related harassment by the accused as apparently there is no proximity or link between her death and the alleged misconduct by the accused persons," the court said.

During the trial, the accused tried to point out to the court that the victim could not reconcile with her marriage as she got attached with a boy with whom she was earlier engaged and was even in touch with before committing suicide on April 10, 2006 at her matrimonial home in Janak Puri here within five months of her marriage.

"The prosecution story does not inspire confidence and is not worthy of credence, especially in view of the glaring contradictions and overwhelming inconsistencies in the statements of witnesses," the court said, acquitting the accused.

PTI