Husband, in-laws acquitted, court rejects dying declaration

The court, while discarding the statement of the victim that her husband and in-laws had poured kerosene and burnt her, said the close relatives of the woman have not supported the prosecution case and even the accused persons received burn injuries which showed they tried to save her.

It also concluded that it was not clear as to what was the exact point of time when the dying declaration was made and whether she was in a fit state of mind to make any such statement.

"It would be unsafe to base conviction solely on the basis of the dying declaration of the victim," Additional Sessions Judge Manoj Jain said.

"I cannot be oblivious to the fact that accused persons had also received burn injuries on their hands which clearly indicate that they were trying to rescue the deceased," the judge said.

"Had there been any intention on the part of accused persons to kill the victim they would not have dared to save her," the court said.

The court gave credence to the testimony of the mother and brother of the victim who had "categorically deposed that the deceased was short tempered and had committed suicide for which she had made attempts earlier also".

The court gave benefit of doubt to the accused and took into account their post-incident conduct which showed that they tried to save the victim.

Prosecution had alleged that Dinesh had set on fire his wife Kavita with the help of his father Ram Prakash and mother Prema Devi as there were some matrimonial disputes.
It was also alleged that due to their dispute Kavita was staying at her parent's place for several days and on the day of her return on April 8, 2010 she was burnt.

However, rejecting the prosecution theory, the court said, "Dinesh had even accompanied his wife to the hospital and his such conduct also reflects that he was not guilty.

"Had he been responsible for the death of his wife, he would have rather chosen to flee away instead of taking his wife to the hospital in a PCR vehicle," the court said.
The woman had said in her dying declaration that when she returned to her in-laws house, the trio caught hold of her and poured kerosene on her and burned her.
"Victim was already living away from them. In such a situation, it does not click to conscience that she would be eliminated by all accused in their own house situated in residential locality so as to invite gallows for them," the judge said.

The couple were married for 10 years and had three children. The case was registered by the Aman Vihar police station in west Delhi.

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