A Sessions court here has sentenced a 39-year-old man to life term for merciless and brutal killing of his wife, a nurse at the government-run Lohia Hospital. The trial revealed that the murder committed in 2007 was preceded by years of unabated domestic violence and financial exploitation of Anita by her husband Manoj.
Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau also sentenced Manoj, his brother Vinod, mother Angoori and his sister-in-law Shalu to three years’ rigorous imprisonment for cruelty on Anita. “What further aggravates his conduct is the fact that instead of providing Anita with immediate medical attention by rushing her to the nearest hospital, he chose to take her to Lohia Hospital which is more than 45 minutes away, thereby ensuring her death. This being the background, I am of the considered view that in so far as Manoj is concerned, it falls within the category of rare case calling for alternative options. For the offence under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code, Manoj is sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for life — till the rest of his life with the directions that he shall not be considered for any remissions and fine for a sum of Rs.1 lakh.”
Anita, who married Manoj in 2001 after her first husband died, was clubbed to death with a blunt object. The court said she was a victim of “unabated domestic violence” that she chose to suffer it in silence, perhaps because she was a widow and had married Manoj despite opposition from her family. Manoj was a friend of Anita’s deceased husband and exploited her emotionally to marry him. It was only after marriage that she discovered Manoj and Vinod were “diehard drunkards”. The brothers had no source of income as Manoj closed his shop after the marriage and Anita was left to fend for the entire family being the sole earning member. The evidence showed that Manoj was totally dependent on Anita for his finances and her salary record shows that she had been withdrawing her provident fund for spending the same on her husband and in-laws. Her colleagues had over the years noticed injuries on her body, which they testified to in court.
“Wife-beating is the worst kind of domestic violence inflicted on a woman and no civilised society can tolerate the same. This is something which is totally unacceptable in the legal framework and even the Supreme Court in the case of Satya Narayan Tiwari Alias Jolly and Another Vs. State of Uttar Pradesh, while taking a strong note of the aforesaid, observed that dowry death cases fell within the ‘rarest of rare’ category warranting death sentence,” said Ms. Lau.
Keywords: unabated domestic violence