NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has refused to take a lenient view towards a man sent to jail for five years for cruelty towards his pregnant wife forcing her to commit suicide, saying her story resembled the tale of young women who ended their life due to "untold miseries" faced in their matrimonial homes.
"The story of the deceased young lady, aged about 25 years who was forced to commit suicide by the unfortunate situation and circumstances surrounding her life, resembles the tale of so many similar young ladies who end their life due to untold miseries and hardships faced by them within the confines of the four walls of their matrimonial home," a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and Shiva Kirti Singh said.
The court observed this while dismissing the appeal filed by a Karnataka man challenging his conviction and the five year jail term awarded by the high court which had held him guilty for offences under sections 498 A (subjecting a married woman to cruelty) and 306 (abetting suicide) of the IPC.
The apex court said such women enter matrimonial homes with a "hope of leading a long and blissful married life, but this hope, invariably, does not last long, nor their life".
The petitioner and his parents were acquitted by the trial court in the case, but Karnataka High Court had later convicted the husband. The victim was married to the man in 1991 and was living in her matrimonial home. In November 1993, the man had informed police that his wife had died after consuming poison.
In its verdict, the apex court noted that the high court had rightly rejected the explanation given by the man that his wife had committed suicide as she was not permitted to go to her mother's place.
"Only for such a trivial matter, a hale and hearty young woman having a ten-month old son and a pregnancy of 20 weeks is not at all expected to take her life.
"The appellant not only gave absolutely no explanation for the injuries on the person of the deceased, rather he chose to conceal them by keeping mum," the bench said.