KOLLAM: A Kerala court on Tuesday sentenced to 10 years in jail the husband of Vismaya, an Ayurveda medical student who hanged herself in her marital home in June last year, for dowry death.
Additional District and Sessions Judge-1 Sujith K N also sentenced S Kiran Kumar to six years and two years imprisonment for the offences of abetment to suicide and dowry harrasment under the IPC, Special Public Prosecutor G Mohanraj told reporters.
Kumar was also sentenced to six years for the offence of taking dowry and one year for demanding dowry under the Dowry Prohibition Act.
The court said the sentences would run concurrently, the SPP told reporters after the sentence was pronounced.
A total fine of Rs 12,55,000 was also imposed on Kumar, he said adding that out of that Rs 2 lakh has been directed to be paid to the parents of the victim.
The SPP said he was satisfied with the sentence awarded to the convict.
However, the victim’s mother, who appeared disheartened, said she was not happy with the outcome as she had expected the convict would get life term.
Addressing media at her residence, she said the family would appeal against the sentencing and that she does not believe her daughter got justice.
She also said that they would be continuing their efforts for action against the others who were allegedly responsible for Vismaya’s suicide.
Vismaya’s father, on the other hand, told reporters outside the court that he was happy with the punishment given to Kumar.
He said he as well as his daughter have got justice and that the punishment was also a message to society.
He also said he had not expected that life term would be given to Kumar.
Whether to appeal or not would be decided after discussing it with the SPP.
The court order came after hearing arguments on behalf of the prosecution and the convict on the quantum of sentence.
Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) G Mohanraj, in his arguments, sought the maximum possible punishment for the convict so that it acts as a deterrent in society.
The convict’s lawyers sought a compassionate view from the court claiming that he is the sole earner in the family and that his parents were suffering from various ailments.
Earlier in the day, Vismaya’s father left for court in the car which was given as dowry.
He told scribes outside his home that his daughter loved the car and he believes her soul is there with him in the vehicle.
The court on Monday had convicted Kumar for the offences of dowry death (section 304B), abetment of suicide (section 306) and dowry related harassment (section 498A) under the IPC and various provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
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.
Kumar, who was an assistant motor vehicle inspector, was dismissed from service after his arrest in the case and state Transport Minister Antony Raju on Monday had said that there will be no change in that irrespective of whether the court convicts him or not.
However, with his conviction, the bail granted to him by the Supreme Court was automatically rescinded and the police had taken him into custody from the court.
The court had on May 17 reserved its verdict in the case.
Kerala Police in its over 500-page charge sheet had said that Vismaya committed suicide due to dowry harassment.
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, Vismaya 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, the father had said.