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Vismaya Dowry Death Case: Husband Sentenced to 10 Years Rigorous Imprisonment, Fined Rs 12.5 Lakh

Vismaya, 22, was found dead in the house of her husband at Sasthamkotta in Kollam district on June 21, 2021. (News18)

Vismaya, 22, was found dead in the house of her husband at Sasthamkotta in Kollam district on June 21, 2021. (News18)

While the prosecution had asked for the maximum punishment of life imprisonment, S Kiran Kumar had pleaded for leniency in sentencing citing the age of his elderly parents

A Kerala court on Tuesday sentenced S Kiran Kumar, the husband of an Ayurveda medical student who hanged herself in her marital home in June last year, to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment for dowry death and abetting her suicide.

The Kollam Additional Sessions Court sentenced Kiran Kumar under Section 304 (b) for dowry death, six years for abetment to suicide under Section 306, two years’ imprisonment for cruelty under Section 498A, six years’ rigorous imprisonment under Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and one-year rigorous imprisonment under Section 4 of the Act.

The sentences can be served concurrently, making it a total of 10-year jail term. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 12.5 lakh on Kiran Kumar under various sections.

Vismaya, 22, was found dead in the house of her husband at Sasthamkotta in Kollam district on June 21, 2021. A day before the incident, she had sent WhatsApp messages to her relatives over the alleged harassment by Kumar over dowry, as well as photos of wounds and marks of beatings on her body.

Her father had said that 100 sovereigns of gold (one sovereign is equal to 8 grams gold) and over one acre land, besides a car worth Rs 10 lakh was given as dowry to Kumar during the wedding in 2020. But Kumar did not like the car and wanted Rs 10 lakh in cash. As he was told it was not possible, he used to torture her, her father had said.

Kumar was convicted on Monday and the quantum of punishment was announced on Tuesday. The offence of dowry death under Section 304B of IPC carries a minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum of life imprisonment.

The offences of dowry harassment under Section 498A of IPC and abetment to suicide under Section 306 of IPC carry a maximum punishment of three years and 10 years’ jail term, respectively.

While the prosecution had asked for the maximum punishment of life imprisonment, Kumar had pleaded for leniency in sentencing citing the age of his elderly parents.

“This is a social evil. The case is not just against the individual, but also against society. The order should be a model for the society,” special public prosecutor advocate G Mohan Raj had said in court.

“The accused assaulted the deceased verbally as well as physically by pressing his boot on her face. Even now, the accused is showing no repentance and for that he should be punished hard,” the prosecution contended, adding that Kumar had used his government job as a tool to pressure his in-laws into giving more dowry.

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first published:May 24, 2022, 13:50 IST