The Madras High Court on Tuesday held that in-laws should not be allowed to go scot free in bride suicide cases, just because they did not live with the woman and refused to suspend a jail term imposed by a lower court on the parents of a newly wed groom. “Since the in-laws are not residing with their son and the victim woman and they are seeking suspension of sentence on that ground… Taking advantage of that, a wrong message has gone to society that the parents can easily escape from their liability and the alleged offence," Justice P Velmurugan has said.
The parents should not stop with providing shelter and good education to their children and motivate them to get a job alone. Their first and foremost responsibility is that they should groom their children as responsible citizens, the judge added while dismissing a criminal miscellaneous petition from the parents of a person who were sentenced to two years’ Rigorous Imprisonment in a dowry harassment case, where their daughter-in-law allegedly committed suicide.
The court said there has been an increase in instances of women committing suicide due to dowry harassment. On the other hand, the in-laws were escaping from their liability, saying that they were not living with their son.
Even though they lived separately, they induced their sons to get dowry in the form of money or jewelry, two or four wheelers, the judge noted. “Given the nature and gravity of offence committed by the accused, this Court is not inclined to suspend the sentence," the judge said and posted the main appeal challenging the sentence to April 28.