Fourteen years after they were convicted for causing death of the wife after harassing her for dowry, the Bombay High Court recently upheld the conviction of seven years handed down to husband and mother-in-law, charged for the death of the woman in the year 1993.
Justice A I S Cheema while rejecting the appeal filed in 2000 by 30-year-old Dhanraj Ghadge and 48-year-old Khusavati Ghadge, observed "The prosecution has proved that within seven years of the marriage the victim suffered death which could not be said to be normal or under normal circumstances."
As per the prosecution case, when the couple got married in the year 1992, it was decided that the woman's family members would give a dowry amount of Rs 25,000 to the accused along with a wrist watch. Accordingly, the brother of the deceased had paid the accused an amount of Rs 20,000 and the remaining amount was to be paid within a year.
The victim, Mangal, was treated well for few months and then the ill-treatment had begun. When she would visit her maternal house, she would tell her family members about the ill treatment but they would convince her to return back.
On February 26, 1993, the brother of the deceased was informed that Mangal had died and he rushed to see her and the next day registered a complaint against the accused and other family members. The medical opinion initially suggested that the death could be due to poisoning but the final report indicated internal injuries.
During the trial, the prosecution examined 12 witnesses to bring home the guilt of the accused. Based on the evidence the accused were convicted while other family members were acquitted. This order of the year 2000 was challenged before the high court.
The high court while rejecting the appeal noted that "For the given evidence available on record, findings arrived at by the trial court, is a possible view and I have no reason to interfere with the same."