STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: Principal Sessions Judge Kathua Sanjeev Gupta in a much publicised dowry death case at Kathua in which a Government teacher committed suicide, discharged the accused husband Anil Kumar and Satya Devi, mother-in-law from offence 304-B and framed charges under Section 306 and 498-A RPC. After hearing Advocate Vishal Kapur for the accused, the court also granted bail to husband and mother-in-law of the deceased teacher. While discharging the accused from the offence under 304-B RPC, Court observed that ingredients of Section 306 and Section304-B are different and distinct. If Section 304-B is to be invoked, it is not enough that harassment or cruelty was caused to the woman with a demand for dowry at some time, but it should have happened “soon before her death”. “The aforesaid phrase, no doubt, is an elastic expression and can refer to a period either immediately before her death or within a few days or even a few weeks before it but the proximity to her death is the pivot indicated by that expression. In other words, there should be a perceptible nexus between her death and the dowry related harassment or cruelty inflicted on her, which means that there should be evidence of cruelty or harassment within a reasonable time and quite in proximity prior to death”, the court held. Court further observed that when the prosecution case is examined in the light of above principles, it is apparent that firstly, there is no material on record to show that any dowry was demanded by the accused at the time of marriage of deceased, and secondly, there is also no material on record to show that the deceased was subjected to cruelty by the accused in relation to the demand of dowry or a car, soon before her death. After hearing Advocate Vishal Kapur in length and Public Prosecutor B.B Sharma, the court observed that the essential ingredients to constitute prima facie offence under Section 304-B RPC have not been established in the present case.
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