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Gross Miscarriage of Justice, Delhi Police Complicity in Dowry Death Investigation

Date : 16/07/2010

W.P Civil No.2014 [ Sanjay vs. SHO of Kalyanpuri and IO, Shiv Murthi Yadav]

The complainant’s sister, Usha had been living with her husband, Mahesh, and their two girls, along with her in-laws. Usha was allegedly being harassed for dowry by her husband and in-laws. Additionally, she was being taunted for giving birth to two girls. In an attempt to save her marriage, the complainant’s family continuously succumbed to their never-ending demands.

But when Usha’s in-laws demanded a car, the family failed to meet such unfair expectations. On 18th July, 14, after exactly 7 years and 6 days of marriage, Usha was found hanged at her matrimonial home at Trilok Puri under suspicious circumstances  Her husband and in-laws were conspicuously absent from the scene ; Injury marks on her body and face strongly suggested unnatural death resulting from foul play. Perhaps more tellingly, her feet were on the floor, with her knees bent.

The deceased’s sleeping posture (closed eyes and a closed mouth) further suggested a shoddy cover-up for what-seems-like an obvious murder. What unfolded next is an appalling testament to police complicity and negligence. The complainant’s family recorded their statement to the SDM on the very day, but most of their crucial allegations regarding dowry-harassment and cruelty (and, therefore, revealing cognizable offence) were conveniently precluded from the copy. The statement was not even read over to them before obtaining their signatures. When Sanjay tried to lodge an FIR at the Kalyanpuri Police station, the police denied his request and betrayed zero interest in pursuing an investigation.

The complainant made repeated oral submissions to the SHO, sent a number of complaint letters to the Kalyan Puri police station’s SHO and the DCP of North-West Delhi. Denied any response, he even filed an RTI seeking information from police officials, approached the Public Grievance Commission and the NHRC  all in vain. Finally, tired of being pushed from pillar to post in this Kafkaesque hell that was seeking justice for his sister, Sanjay sought court-intervention by filing a complaint in the Court of Shri. Sonu Agnihotri, CMM, Kakkardooma on 15th September, ’14. On 24th January, the Ld. Court ordered the filing of an FIR, after consulting the Ld Public Prosecutor who suggested that the case should be classified as a homicide, rather than a suicide.

The IO failed to comply with the court orders and deliberately delayed the matter by not appearing before the court time and again. The highly-prejudiced Action Taken Report eventually filed by the IO was merely an eye-wash. On 2nd February, bowing down to court’s pressure, the Investigation Officer ASI Shiv Moorthi Yadav reluctantly filed an FIR  which, at best, was an exercise in skin-saving. Instead of being sensitive to the aggrieved, the police are appropriating the technicalities of the law to aid the guilty parties go scott free  The dowry death exceeding the legal presumption of ‘seven years of marriage’ by mere six days, the police have registered the case U/S 306 IPC (Abetment of suicide) instead of the more incriminating U/S 302/34 IPC. The Police seem to be acting hand-in-glove with the accused by intentionally bungling up evidence through their stalling tactics. A protest petition filed in the Kar kar dooma court seeks court directions to suitably amend the FIR and file a charge-sheet.


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