Woman, 2 sons jailed in dowry death case

New Delhi: A 60-year-old woman, along with her two sons, has been sentenced to eight years in jail by a Delhi court for harassing her daughter-in-law for dowry and driving her to commit suicide.

Additional Sessions Judge T R Naval awarded the jail term to Sushila Devi and sons Vijender Yadav and Davender Yadav, saying "the evidence on record establishes that the deceased Sandhya had committed suicide due to the cruelty and harassment" meted out to her by them.

"It is further held that as the evidence on record has established that cruelty and harassment meted out to deceased Sandhya by Vijender (husband), Davender, brother-in-law and Sushila Devi, mother-in-law, with a view to coerce her to meet any unlawful demand for the dowry and that drove her to commit suicide… It is held that prosecution has successfully proved its case against all accused…," the court said.

While convicting the trio, the court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on them.
"As the prosecution has proved on record that deceased was married with accused Vijender and she died within seven years of marriage, otherwise than under normal circumstances, and the deceased was subjected to cruelty and harassment by her husband and relative of her husband… in connection with the demand of dowry… the prosecution has successfully proved its case against all the accused," the court said.

According to the prosecution, on June 18, 2010, police received an information that Sandhya had hanged herself in her matrimonial house and on the statement of her brother, a dowry death case was registered.

In his statement, Sandhya`s brother had said she was married to Vijender in May 2005. Her in-laws had been harassing her for not bringing sufficient dowry, he said, adding a day before the incident, she had told him that that her husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law beat her. The accused, however, denied the allegations saying they did not know as to why Sandhya ended her life as she was living happily with them.

The judge, however, said Sandhya was subjected to cruelty for dowry by her husband and in-laws. "I am of the view that on the basis of evidence available on record, it would be safe to conclude that Sandhya was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or by relatives of her husband in connection with the demand of dowry soon before her death," the court said.