Police complaint not necessary in dowry death: court

June 2nd, 2009 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 2 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Tuesday said a formal police complaint pertaining to harassment or cruelty was not necessary to convict a husband or a victim’s in-laws in a dowry death case.
A bench headed by Justice B.D. Ahmed turned down a plea of a husband who contended that he cannot be convicted because there was no evidence of his deceased wife being tortured by him as no police complaint was filed by her or her family members.

“Just because the deceased and her relatives choose not to make any complaint, can it be a ground to discard their testimonies? Indian society has not advanced to that stage where ordinary people would immediately take recourse to the law,” the court said.

The case pertains to Surinder Kumar who was sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court for dowry death of his wife who had succumbed to burn injuries within seven months of their marriage.

Upholding the life term for Kumar, the court also referred to the testimonies of the victim’s relatives regarding persistent harassment meted out to the woman for not having brought dowry.

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