The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction of seven years’ sentence awarded each to a man and his mother for torturing and driving a young woman to commit suicide for dowry just six months after the marriage in Mangolpuri in Outer Delhi in 1997.

Justice S.P. Garg dismissed appeals filed by Gopi, husband of the victim, and her mother Shanti Devi, and upheld the trial court’s judgement, relying on her dying declaration and its corroboration by the prosecution witnesses.

The appellants had challenged their conviction submitting that the victim had committed suicide by pouring over kerosene on her and setting on fire at her matrimonial home because she was frustrated with the marriage as she was having an affair with a boy before the two got married.

One another motive which the convicts attributed to the victim for committing suicide was that she was suffering from an incurable disease. She was depressed due to the illness which drove her to take her life, counsel for the appellants submitted.

However, Mr. Justice Garg dismissed all this defence as the appellant’s failed to name the boy with whom the victim was allegedly in love. About the disease, the Court said that it was not established that the victim was suffering from an incurable disease.

The Court also dismissed the defence argument that there was no evidence to torture of the victim by the appellants soon before she committed suicide. The victim had said in her dying declaration that she was beaten several times till the day she set herself on fire. She particularly singled out her mother-in-law for the torture.

Dismissing the appeals, Mr. Justice Garg said: “The impugned judgment is based upon proper and fair appreciation of the evidence and warrants no interference.’’

“The appeals are dismissed being unmerited. The conviction and sentence of the appellants are maintained,’’ Mr. Justice Garg said.

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