NEW DELHI — The Indian Supreme Court, while upholding a high court verdict that sentenced a man to five years in jail for torturing his pregnant wife, which eventually drove her to suicide, said the story was a reminder of the ‘untold miseries’ of young women in matrimonial homes, reported PTI.
The victim, 25, had a 10-month old son and was in her 20th week of pregnancy when she consumed poison in November 1993 at her matrimonial home in Karnataka. She was married for two years.
“This 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 top court dismissed the man’s appeal challenging his conviction by the Karnataka 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 Indian Penal Code.
The bench further said that 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.
In its verdict, the Supreme Court noted that the high court had rightly rejected the explanation given by the man that his wife had committed suicide after 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 added.