Six in-laws absolved of charge of causing woman’s miscarriage

Six members of a family have been acquitted by a Delhi court of the charge of allegedly causing the miscarriage of a woman and harassing her for dowry saying it was not proved that the victim was treated cruelly.

The court absolved the six family members, including two women, saying the police failed to prove beyond reasonable suspicion that the complainant was meted out cruelty for dowry.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) T R Naval also said the police had been unable to prove that the accused caused any ‘grave injury or danger to the life or mental or physical health of the woman (complainant).’

The court let off the woman’s husband Khemanand, her parents-in-law Dev Dutt and Bhagwati Devi, brother-in-laws Tara Chand and Kamal Kishore and sister-in-law Nirmala Devi of the charge of harassing her for dowry and causing her miscarriage.

It also acquitted Mandawali resident Khemanand of the charges of criminal breach of trust.

According to the prosecution, the woman, who had married Khemanand in December 2001, was allegedly mistreated by her in-laws and they had demanded Rs 2 lakh from her to start the business of her husband. When she expressed inability to give the amount, the six accused beat her up, it said.

The woman, who is living with her minor daughter at her parental house, said the accused had demanded money and she was beaten and thrown out of her matrimonial house when she was unable to meet their demands.

The six accused, however, had argued the woman was suffering from ‘ectopic pregnancy’ leading to her miscarriage and they cannot be held liable for this.

Ectopic pregnancy occurs outside the womb and is a life-threatening condition to the mother.

The court said the arguments of defence counsel were sustainable and the doctor, who had treated the woman, also deposed that she was suffering from ectopic pregnancy which cannot be caused by the interference of any human being or by any external injury.

It also said there were several contradictions in the statement of the woman.

‘Contradictions found in the testimonies of witnesses have created doubt about the truthfulness of the alleged demand of dowry or harassment meted out to her for not fulfilling the said demand,’ the court said.

‘I found that none of the material witnesses, including family members of the woman, deposed that all or any of the accused harassed or ill-treated her to bring dowry...,’ the judge said.

She alleged that when she conceived for the second time, her husband and the other accused abused and kicked her in the womb several times leading to her miscarriage.
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