Man gets 5-year RI for dowry harassment

The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday sentenced a person to five-year rigorous imprisonment for dowry harassment.

Hearing an appeal by the Karnataka government, the Devision Bench comprising Justice D V Shylendra Kumar and Justice H S Kempanna sentenced K N Narasimha, 40, to five years RI along with a fine of Rs one lakh.

Narasimha, a resident of RT Nagar, married Nagamani in 1999. Within three days of marriage, he started harassing her for dowry. Before marriage, Narasimha had demanded Rs 5 lakh cash, Rs 50,000 for clothes and other accessories and some gold. When Nagamani’s parents expressed their difficulty in paying so much dowry, he ultimately settled for Rs 4.10 lakh (Rs 3.6 lakh dowry and Rs 50,000 for clothes). A building contractor by profession, Narasimha’s marriage with Nagamani  was held in a grand manner at the City’s Palace Grounds.

Immediately after tying the knot, he demanded Rs five lakh more. As Nagamani’s family filed a complaint. The case came up before the trial court in 2006, the year in which the couple got divorced. Narasimha was acquitted by the trial court in 2006 on the grounds that there was delay in filing of the dowry harassment complaint by the wife, Nagamani.

The trial court also dismissed the petition stating that the allegation is not proved.
Subsequently, the State filed an appeal challenging the trial court order. During the hearing, Additional Special Public Prosecutor P M Nawaz, in his submission, said that cruelty and harassment being a continuing offence, the delay in filing complaint cannot be a ground for acquittal.

He further submitted that parties try to patch up and no wife will lodge a complaint immediately, as she will try and resolve the problem until everything fails, and pointed out that she lodged a complaint only after persistant demand for dowry.

The Division Bench reversed the acquital order and sentenced the accused to RI under Section 3, 4 and 6 of Dowry Prohibition Act, along with a fine.

The court also said that failing to pay the fine, the accused will have to serve a tenure of another six months imprisonment.

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