Man, mother get life term for burning wife to death

"The dowry system is a big slur and curse on our society, democracy and country. It is incomprehensible how such unfortunate and condemnable instances of dowry deaths are so frequent in our society," Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Nisha Saxena said.

The court, in its judgement, even compared the social evil of dowry with terrorism. "In-laws are characterised to be outlaws for perpetrating terrorism which destroys the matrimonial home. The terrorist is dowry and it is spreading tentacles in every possible direction," the court said.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on Wasim Hassan and his mother Amir Jahan for setting ablaze Rehana after pouring kerosene on her in their kitchen at Gautam Vihar residence in east Delhi in April, 2006.

Three days later, Rehana succumbed to burn injuries at a hospital here. However, she made a statement before the concerned SDM, indicting the duo for the offence.

She married to Wasim in 2004 and had a 11-month-old child, the victim had said, adding it was her mother-in-law and husband who set her ablaze.

The convicts used to harass her for not bringing enough dowry and demanded Rs 7 lakh for buying a house and a vehicle, the court concluded. Rehana's kin had sought death sentence for the convicts.

The court rejected the plea saying "under the present legal position, imprisonment for life is the normal rule for punishing crime of murder. As held by the Supreme Court, death sentence is to be awarded only in the rarest of rare cases."

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