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Husband’s act forcing wife to self harm is cruelty: HC

An act of a husband that has the potential to drive a wife to take a step which causes injury to her would amount to subjecting her to cruelty, ruled the Delhi HC which sentenced a man to life term for murdering his spouse.



New Delhi: An act of a husband that has the
potential to drive a wife to take a step which causes
injury to her would amount to subjecting her to cruelty,
ruled the Delhi High Court which sentenced a man to life term
for murdering his spouse.

The court also held the man guilty of the offence of
subjecting his wife to cruelty and awarded three years` jail
term by relying on the dying declaration of the victim.

"Even if the woman subjected to cruelty does not actually
cause any harm to herself, the act committed by the accused
has the potential to drive her to take such a step and the act
would constitute cruelty within the Indian Penal Code," a
bench, comprising Justices V K Jain and B D Ahmed, said.

Convict Trilok Chand contended that the victim committed
suicide because she was suffering from epilepsy and the dying
declaration was tutored as it did not bear the endorsement of
the doctor.

"We are satisfied that the dying declaration made by the
deceased was not a product of any tutoring or prompting on the
part of any of her family members .... had the dying
declaration been tutored one, the burning would have been
imputed by the victim not only to her husband but also to the
other family members.

"There is no evidence before us that the deceased was so
fed up with the epilepsy, she was alleged to be suffering
from, that she would commit suicide," the court said.

Earlier, the trial court had also sentenced three other
family members to 10 years jail term each for subjecting the
victim to cruelty and dowry death under the IPC.

However, the High Court acquitted the family members on
the ground that the victim had not made any allegation against
them in her dying declaration.
According to the police, the victim was burnt to death by
her husband in 2005 here. The victim had stated in her dying
declaration that the convict had set her on fire in the
presence of her in laws.

PTI

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