New Delhi, May 12: Taking a cue from the Supreme Court which favoured death sentence to those found guilty of honour killings, a Delhi court, in the first such case, has awarded capital punishment to three members of a family including the husband for killing his wife who demanded transfer of a piece of land in the name of her children.
Justifying the extreme punishment meted out to the man, his mother and brother for killing the woman, Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Dinesh Kumar Sharma said a message should go to the society that if an innocent woman is killed in such a brutal manner, the gallows await them.
"I consider that courts while delivering judgments and awarding punishments are required to give a message to the society that the mentality of certain class, that the woman is not allowed to raise any voice, is to be changed," the ASJ said.
In this case, the victim Urmila was murdered by the her husband and other relatives on October 15/16, 2007 in front of her three children when she had demanded transfer of a piece of land in the name of her children.
The family members lost their temper on hearing her protest and they gave her several blows and strangulated her in front of her children.
The court, after going through all the evidences, found them guilty and termed the case in the category of "rarest of rare".
"It is the right time to stamp out these barbaric, feudal practices which are a slur on our nation. In such cases, death penalty is necessary as a deterrent for such outrages, uncivilized behaviour. A message should go to the society that if an innocent woman is killed in such a brutal manner, the gallows await them," the judge said.
"The motive was only that this helpless lady used to ask for a certain piece of land may be for the future safety of her children. This case also indicates towards the mentality of a honour killing where if a lady raises voice in the family, the family gets together and done her away with death," the court said.
The court convicted and sentenced the husband Surender Singh, his mother and brother on the basis of the eye witness account of his three minor kids who had deposed before the court saying that their father along with uncle and grandmother had killed their mother.
"I am of the considered opinion that it is a case which falls within the category of rarest of rare cases and therefore, I award death penalty to the convicts, " the court said.
It added the court is required to give a message to the society that there is a need to change the mentality of a certain class where woman is not allowed to raise any voice.
"If such a bride is killed in such a brutal manner by all the in-laws, together in furtherance of common intention, what could be more brutal or diabolic. Here is not the case where only husband get devil. Here is the case where all the in-laws get together to finish the life of this lady without any provocation," the judge said.
In this case the police had arrested Surender and his mother on October 17, 2007 while his brother Narender, was arrested on February 8, 2008.
The court noted that all three convicts had acted in most brutal, diabolic and dastardly manner and their conduct also indicated that there was no remorse and repentance even after having committed the crime.
"The act of the convicts reflect extreme depravity and the gruesome manner in which they killed the deceased and dealt with her body," the judge said adding, it was not the murder of a woman but it was a murder and assault on dignity of entire womanhood. PTI