Kerala

Vismaya case to set a new precedent

Apart from setting a new precedent, the verdict in the Vismaya case will have a deterrent effect on potential offenders, said G. Mohanraj, the Special Public Prosecutor of the case.

Along with a total jail term of 25 years under various Sections of IPC and Dowry Prohibition Act, the court imposed a fine of ₹12.55 lakh in what may be the first such instance in the State.

In the case the prosecution had to establish that the suicide or unnatural death was an outcome of demand of dowry and subsequent harassment. “Since it is an offence committed in secrecy, the prosecution had to prove that the victim was subjected to cruelty before her death. We could prove independent circumstances, while false plea of the accused was taken as an additional evidence,” Mr. Moharaj told The Hindu.

The prosecution succeeded in establishing the harassment had a proximate and live link with Vismaya’s death, so that it can be treated as dowry death. According to the judgement, Kiran Kumar subjected his wife to severe mental as well as physical cruelties and thereby instigated her to commit suicide.

During the trial, the prosecution heavily relied on electronic evidence to prove Vismaya was physically and emotionally abused for dowry. Most of the digital evidence, that included a volley of chats and voice clips, were retrieved from three phones belonging to Kiran Kumar, Vismaya’s mother Sajitha and friend Vidya. The prosecution also presented neutral witnesses who had no connection to the accused or the victim.

The major contention of the defence counsel was that the recorded conversations cannot be treated as evidence. It was also argued that Vismaya was a person with mood swings and so whatever she exchanged with friends and family was a cunning ploy to gain sympathy.

But in the verdict, the court observed that “the evidences in this case are clear indication of the horrific incidents the victim was forced to suffer at the time of commission of offences.” The court found that Vismaya’s conversations with her father and friend were reliable and “she had not played any subterfuge to earn their sympathy.”


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 7:53:28 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/vismaya-case-to-set-a-new-precedent/article65457456.ece