High Court of Calcutta Reduces Punishment of Accused in Case of Abetment of Suicide on Grounds of Good Behavior and Mental Agony Suffered Due to Case

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Case: Sri Nityalal Malick & Ors vs. The State of West Bengal

Facts of the Case

In the ongoing appeal, a husband and his family were charged for abetment of suicide of his wife. At the time of marriage, dowry was extracted, and further, she was pressured to bring more dowry after marriage. As she was unable to do so, she was tortured mentally, physically and hit by lathis and broomsticks. Finally, they instigated the deceased to commit suicide.  The sentence so imposed by the learned Assistant Sessions Judge, Arambagh was simple imprisonment for six months and to pay a fine of Rs.1,800/- each, to suffer S.I. for another six months for the offence under Section 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code. Dissatisfied with the decision, the accused filed an appeal in the High Court.

Arguments of the Petitioner

The learned counsel for the petitioner argued that the lower court had mechanically appreciated the evidence and due to this does not properly consider the prosecution witness and if they are too appreciated there would be no offence. Further, the court has stressed much on the FIR which was the genesis of the present case.

Arguments of the Defendant

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According to the state, the evidence was appreciated which reflected that the deceased suffered a lot and finally quit. The marks on her body with lathi and broom were confirmed by her brothers. Evidence also confirmed that Rs.20,000 had been paid as dowry to the in-laws of the deceased.

Court’s Opinion and Decision

The High Court held up the decision of the Lower Court in the matter of guilt of the husband and his family but the court is of the view that the incident had occurred years ago hence the accused had also gone through mental agony all this while and in all these years there was no complaint against the petitioners against their conduct in society. So, the punishment of gents was reduced to the period they have already undergone and the ladies have to pay a fine of Rs.10,000 each and if fail to do so they had to undergo a jail term of six months.

Click here to view full judgment.

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