Husband, in-laws get life imprisonment for murder of woman

Court issues directions for stern action against policemen who registered FIR 2 months after post-mortem

A city court has sentenced a man and his parents to life imprisonment for the murder of his wife, and issued directions for "stern" disciplinary action against two police officers acting as the investigating officers (IO) in the case.

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat awarded life term to Mukesh and his parents Dinesh Kumar and Krishna Devi saying the woman died in their presence and "the silence of the accused persons as to how she had died is only proof of their guilt".

The victim, Gayatri, had married Mukesh in December 2005. She died in mysterious circumstances on March 16, 2011. She was declared dead on arrival at a hospital in West Delhi and ligature marks were noticed around her neck by the doctors. Her parents, who reached the spot later, had recorded their statement before the magistrate, alleging that the woman's in-laws use to harass and beat her and had demanded more dowry soon after her marriage.

Noting that the police had shown "utter callousness and casual approach" in the investigation, the judge said: "The post-mortem of the deceased was conducted on March 17, 2011. It is apparent that the IO remained in deep slumber. Nothing was done thereafter. FIR was registered

on May 20, 2011 and no reason at all has been furnished for such long delay in registration of the case and in the process vital evidence which would have helped the prosecution, was lost."

"The Additional Commissioner of Police, Southwest District, Delhi, is directed to initiate appropriate disciplinary action against SI Birender and Inspector Praveen Kumar for their aforesaid acts of deliberate inaction and negligence," the court said.

In their statement before the SDM, Gayatri's parents said she had told them over phone that her in-laws and husband had assaulted her and threatened to kill her if she did not give them her gold chain.

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