A former bureaucrat in the Central government, his wife and their son were convicted on Wednesday of the death of his pregnant daughter-in-law over dowry pressure and sentenced to jail terms ranging from three-ten years by a court.
Swatantra Kumar Jain, 72, wife Kamla Jain, 65, and their son Anurag Jain, 37, were also slapped with a fine of Rs 1.80 lakh by Additional Sessions Judge Indrapreet Singh Josh.
Jain retired as a deputy secretary in the Central government, his wife retired as an official in the Union Public Service Commission, while their son was educated abroad and worked at a private company in Noida.
Jain's 28-year-old daughter-in-law Sejal died in February 2014, after she fell off the balcony of their house in Kendriya Vihar in Sector 82, Noida. Her parents then filed a dowry death complaint against the in-laws and an FIR was registered at the Phase 2 police station. Sejal and Anurag married in May 2013 and she was pregnant at the time of her death.
Reading out the verdict on Wednesday, Justice Josh cleared the family of the charge under IPC 316 (causing death of quick unborn child by act amounting to culpable homicide) but held them guilty under 304B (dowry death), 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
"The husband will serve a 10-year rigorous imprisonment and his parents will serve a three-year term each inside the jail, along with a fine of Rs 1,80,000 of which Rs 1,50,000 will be given to Sejal's parents," the judge ordered.
Sejal's father Pawan Kumar Jain had told investigators her in-laws had demanded Rs 21 lakh cash, a Volkswagen Vento car, four sets of gold jewellery and a diamond set for the marriage, "but we could manage only Rs 11 lakh, the said car, jewellery and clothing items."
"The in-laws were pressuring Sejal for dowry and she had told this to us within a few days of the marriage. Her mother told her to adjust and resolve the matter. Later, they forced her to transfer her salary to their account. Sejal's husband had got to know of a property we had in Jaypee Greens and was forcing her to get it transferred in either his or her name," he said.
The bureaucrat's family had refuted the charges and claimed she was happy with them, citing their trips together to Vaishno Devi and other tourist places and her “happy” posts on Facebook.
They had claimed that Sejal's health was not good due to pregnancy and her medication often led to giddiness, which happened on the night she fell off the balcony accidentally, according to their statement.