New Delhi, 30 October 2011. An 85-year-old woman has been sentenced to life imprisonment along with her elder son for burning alive her younger son’s wife for failing to fulfil her dowry demands.
Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain held Turkman Gate resident Husan Bano and her son Nasim guilty of harassing her younger son Nasiruddin’s wife Gulnaz for dowry and burning her alive on the basis of her dying declaration.
“The dying declaration was made by deceased Gulnaz voluntarily narrating the true facts of incident, which resulted in her death and it was not the result of tutoring as contended by accused persons,” said the court.
While relying upon the victim’s dying declaration to convict the accused, the court brushed aside the defence counsel contention that her last statement was not supported by even the prosecution witnesses, including her husband, who had turned hostile.
“I hereby sentence both the convicts Husan Bano and Nasim with rigorous imprisonment for life,” the judge said, while also imposing a fine of Rs12,000 on each of them.
As per the prosecution, a day before the incident on October 22, 2008, Husan and Nasim had beaten Gulnaz for failing to bring dowry. The police said the next day when the victim woke up, Husan again picked up a fight with her, while Nasim doused her with kerosene oil and set her ablaze. Hearing her cries, her husband Nasuriddun and their nephew Shoaib came out and after extinguishing the fire took her to a nearby hospital, where she died two months later.
The victim had said in her dying declaration that her mother-in-law and brother-in-law used to harass and beat her for not fulfilling their demand of bringing a motorcycle and television as dowry.
“The real question is as to whether the deceased was subjected to cruelty for not bringing TV and motorcycle as demanded by the accused persons or not? Deceased was the best person to respond the said question, but unfortunately she had already left this mortal world. But before leaving this world, deceased had made a dying declaration,” the court said.
The duo, in defence, raised a plea of alibi that at the time of the incident they were not present in the house and had gone to attend a marriage. They also said they neither demanded dowry nor harassed Gulnaz for it. The court, however, rejected their submissions as they were not able to prove it.
It also refused to accept their version that when they reached their house, they came to know that the victim had caught fired accidentally while she was igniting the stove to warm food for her husband. (PTI)