Four persons, including a woman's husband, father-in-law and two other relatives, have been acquitted by a local court for her murder and harassment for want of substantial evidence.
Thane Additional Sessions Judge A S Waghwase in a recent order observed that the prosecution failed to prove the charges under sections 498(A) (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 306 (abetment of suicide), 304B (offence of dowry death), 302 (murder) and 201 r/w 34 of IPC against the accused persons.
Additional Public Prosecutor Buleshwar Hinge told the court that the accused - Vikram Bharat Bhoir (28- victim's husband), Jaywant Baburao Bhoir (42 - relative), Bharat Bhaskar Bhoir (52 - father-in-law) and Vidhyadhar Bharat Bhoir (25 -brother-in-law) - were residents of Balkum area of Thane.
Vikram had married Archana in February 2003. After some time, the four accused allegedly subjected her to cruelty while demanding around Rs 20,000 for business. The victim had informed her parents also about it.
The prosecution said that on February 23, 2007, Archana had called her mother to say that the four threatened her with dire consequences if their demand was not met.
The next day, her family was informed that Archana fell in the bathroom and suffered head injury.
When the deceased's parents reached her house, they found her dead. When the body was being readied for the final rites, Archana's relatives saw a ligature mark around her neck.
Upon detailed inquiry, the deceased's husband said that Archana had committed suicide.
Later, the matter was reported to the Kapurbavadi police, but since the deceased's relatives were dissatisfied with the investigation, the probe was transferred to Vartaknagar police, who recorded a fresh complaint against the accused for the above mentioned offences.
Subsequently, the accused were arrested.
The judge stated that "there is no material suggesting any act or participation of accused or instigating the deceased to hang herself. There is no material as to what preceded immediately prior to the suicide to hold them responsible. There was no dowry demand."
Hence, as none of the charge levelled against any of the accused is established, the court is left with no other alternative but to acquit the accused, the judge observed.