MANGALDAI, Aug 3 - In India, every day on an average, more than 22 women fall victims to dowry and another 317 women approach the police to file FIRs against violence on them in connection with dowry. These shocking statistics have been made public in the Parliament recently by none other than the Union Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi. But the question arises as to how far these unfortunate women are getting due justice with exemplary punishment being awarded to their tyrant husbands or the members of the in-law�s families.
The District & Sessions Court, Darrang on Friday became a witness of such exemplary punishment when the Judge Gautam Baruah awarded rigorous imprisonment for life term to a mother-in-law, her husband and her eldest son for killing her daughter-in-law by setting fire to her body in a dowry-related case. All the three of them who were found guilty in the pre-planned conspiracy to murder the housewife Sanuwara Begum, were also awarded a fine of Rs 5000 each in default of which the convicted persons will have to undergo rigorous imprisonment for a term of another six months.
Awarding the judgment, the Sessions judge directed the Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority to deposit an amount of Rs 50,000 in the name of the three-year-old son of the deceased in a bank till he attained adulthood, as the child. Significantly, in view of the loss of the life of the deceased housewife, the Sessions Judge also directed the District Legal service Authority to arrange for paying an amount of Rs 50,000.00 as compensation to the bereaved parents of the deceased housewife.
The convicted persons are Abul Ali (50), his wife Firoza Begum (50) and their elder son Liyakat Ali of village Chamuapara under Mangaldai Police Station. However the court acquitted Khasnur Ali, the husband of the deceased from the charges framed against him as prosecution failed to substantiate his involvement in the murder.
According to the case records, Khasnur Ali married his neighbour Sanuwara Begum, following an affair, which however was refused by the parents of Khasnur Ali. Both the father and mother-in-law and Liyakat Ali, the elder brother of Khasnur Ali were reportedly committing physical atrocities on Sanuwara for her failure to bring gold ornaments and cash amount as dowry. Moreover, it has also been alleged that convict Liyakat ali frequently made attempts to establish illicit relations with Sanuwara Begum. On Januray 18, 2012, all the three convicted persons set Sanuwara Begum afire, who succumbed to her burn injuries at the GMCH.
Though the police registered a case (No.67/12 U/S 302/34 IPC) as per the FIR lodged by the father of the deceased housewife, yet the Investigation Officer Sub inspector MN Bora submitted the final report before the court terming it as a case of accident. The aggrieved father of the deceased immediately filed a petition before the Chief judicial Magistrate at Mangaldai challenging the Final Report submitted by the Investigating Officer. The Chief Judicial Magistrate accepted the petition for trial by registering the case (CR 2200/12) once again and later transferred the case to the Sessions Court for trial. Subsequently, the Sessions Judge Gautam Barua registered the case (No.43,DM/14) in his court and after hearing all the witnesses and looking into the evidences awarded the judgment on Friday. Thus the news of justice provided to the family members of a dowry victim that too through a prompt judicial trial has inspired the local women organisations working in the field of earning justice to the victims of violence on women.