Court acquits man of cruelty, dowry death charges

A court here has acquitted a man of the charges of cruelty and dowry death, saying the prosecution had “miserably failed” to establish that he had subjected his deceased wife to any cruelty or harassment.

Additional Sessions Judge Manika was hearing a case against Jitender Gahlot, against whom the Dabri police station here had filed a chargesheet under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 304B (dowry death).

According to the prosecution, Gahlot’s wife Neelam committed suicide by hanging on January 24, 2018 as she was subjected to cruelty and harassment for dowry. It had said the accused married the deceased on July 31, 2017.

Taking note of the testimonies of the prosecution witnesses, the court, in a recent order, said, “The prosecution has failed to prove that there was any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security made by the accused, Jitender Gahlot, from the deceased or any person related to her.”

Regarding the allegations of Gehlot beating up his wife after consuming liquor, besides subjecting her to “all kinds of harassment beyond her tolerance”, the court said there were “deficiencies and inconsistencies” in the statements of the deceased’s mother, daughter and brother.

It said her mother did not witness any incident of beating and her testimony regarding this was merely based on “hearsay”.

The court noted that the deceased’s brother, Bablu, had stated that her sister twice confided in him regarding beatings and torture by her husband and even asked him to take her away, saying she would die otherwise.

It, however, pointed out that the brother’s testimony was completely silent as to the steps taken by him after his sister’s plea for help.

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“The same compels this court to conclude that this witness (brother) did not take any steps or act upon the cries for help made by the deceased. Such conduct on the part of a brother is unnatural. The testimony is therefore not found to be reliable,” the court said.

It said the prosecution had “miserably failed” to establish that any cruelty or harassment was meted out to the deceased by Gahlot “at any point during the subsistence of their marriage”.

“Prosecution has (also) failed to establish that after the marriage of the deceased, there were circumstances of harassment or cruelty that took place on account of demand for dowry, which could connect with the death of the deceased,” the court said.

“The prosecution has miserably failed to prove its case against the accused. The accused, Jitender Gahlot, is hereby acquitted,” it ordered.

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