A man, facing trial in his wife's dowry death case, has been acquitted by a Delhi court which said the prosecution has failed to prove that he treated the victim with cruelty or harassed her. District Judge J R Aryan acquitted Anil Charwah, a resident of North East Delhi, while noting that the statements of mother, father and cousin of deceased Lipika could not establish that Anil had ill-treated his wife, who allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself.
"There is nothing to suggest that accused Anil treated deceased with cruelty or harassment if that demand was not met or was not going to be fulfilled," the judge said. "There is no independent evidence if Anil ever committed any act of cruelty to deceased. Prosecution's charge cannot be held proved beyond doubt. Accused deserved to be acquitted. He is acquitted of the charge," the court said.
Lipika, mother of an infant, was found hanging in her matrimonial house in September 2011. Anil, who was in love with Lipika and had married her in 2009 against the wishes of her family, was accused of dowry death and cruelly treating her.
According to the prosecution, the complaint was lodged by the victim's mother in which she had said that hours before Lipika died, the couple had met her at a relative's house where her daughter asked for Rs 50,000 on behalf of Anil as he wanted to start a business. When she refused to pay the amount, Anil got angry and forcefully took his wife away while uttering some harsh words, it said, adding that the next day, she got to know about Lipika's death.
Lipika's mother had told the court that earlier also Anil had physically tortured her daughter and he used to pressurise her for bringing more dowry and the victim had shown signs of assault on her body many times. The court, however, held that "the witness (mother) deposed in a casual manner without specifying any date or incident that accused started taunting the deceased about inadequacy of dowry." The court also said that for about one-and-a-half-year of the marriage of the victim, her family did not keep any contact with their daughter since she had married Anil, who belonged to a different caste, against their wish.
During the trial, Anil pleaded innocence and said that at no point of time he had ever committed any kind of harassment or cruelty to Lipika. The judge, while acquitting Anil, also relied on the testimony of his neighbour that the couple had cordial relations and he had never seen them quarrelling.