18yrs after complaint,61-yr-old woman,son jailed in dowry case

18yrs after complaint,61-yr-old woman,son jailed in dowry case

Eighteen years after a woman lodged complaint of harassment for dowry, her estranged husband and 61-year-old mother-in-law have been jailed for two years by a Delhi court.

Metropolitan Magistrate Ekta Gauba denied the plea of convicts for probation noting that "harassment of women for dowry is increasing in today's scenario".

"Convict Shanti Devi being herself a woman had victimised another woman (complainant) who was her daughter-in-law and Satender Yadav being the complainant's husband was responsible to keep her happily but they victimised and harassed her for dowry...," she said.

The court held them guilty under sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) IPC for misappropriating her 'stridhan' and denied their plea for probation as it noted that "harassment of women for dowry is increasing in today's scenario".

Quoting from a recent Supreme Court judgement, the magistrate said, "in cases of crime against women, committed even by other women, at the time of sentencing deterrent punishment should be given and leniency in sentence is unwarranted."

The complainant, a resident of west Delhi, had approached the police in July 1996 against her husband Satender Yadav, who had later remarried, her mother-in-law Shanti Devi and father-in-law Nathu Ram, who died during the pendency of the case.

She told the police that she got married to Satender in December 1994 and her parents gave gifts and 'stridhan' to her but after 15 days of marriage, she was subjected to physical and mental torture for dowry and her in-laws forced her to write a letter stating that she was in love with some other man and even intended to kill her. 

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