Upholding the framing of charges for allegedly causing the death of a woman by subjecting her to cruelty for not bringing in dowry against the victim’s husband and his parents, the Delhi High Court has discharged the in-laws of the murder charge.

According to the prosecution, the woman had married accused Dilip Singh in 2007 and allegedly committed suicide after five years in 2012 by consuming poison due to harassment by her husband and the her in-laws for dowry.

The police had registered the case on the basis of statements of the victim’s parents and brother, first recorded by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the area concerned and then by the police on the day of her death.

The police had also recorded their supplementary statements during the investigation, in which they said that the victim had come to her parental home some days before her death and told them that the accused were demanding a motorcycle and Rs.50,000 in cash. However, in their earlier statement recorded by the SDM, they had only talked about the demand of motorcycle by the accused persons.

The accused had sought discharge in the case on the ground of contradiction between the first statement and the supplementary statement of the victim’s family members. Their counsel also submitted that there was no witness from the neighbour in the case.

Rejecting their arguments, Justice P.K. Bhasin said: In the result, the petitioners’ challenge to the framing of charges against them under Sections 304-B (dowry death) 498-A (punishment for subjecting a married woman to cruelty) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code is rejected and their revision petitions to that extent stand dismissed. Similarly, the challenge of petitioner Dilip Singh to the framing of charge against him under Section 302 IPC also fails and his revision petition is rejected.’’

However, the Court discharged the in-laws of the murder charge on the submission by Assistant Public Prosecutor that there was no evidence against them on their complicity in the murder of the victim.

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