Suicide Within 7 Years Of Marriage: HC: Suicide within 7 yrs of marriage not always abetted by hubby, in-laws | India News

KOLKATA: A woman’s suicide within seven years of marriage does not automatically attract the provisions of abetment against her husband and in-laws, the Calcutta high court said on Wednesday, overturning the conviction of a man accused of abetting his wife’s suicide.
Section 113A of the Indian Evidence Act establishes the presumption of abetment by a husband and in-laws in cases where a woman’s suicide transpires within seven years of marriage and she has been subjected to cruelty.
The HC highlighted that the mere occurrence of suicide within seven years of marriage is insufficient to trigger the presumption of abetment, stressing the need for concrete evidence indicating cruelty by the accused. Justice Rai Chattopadhyay said the prima facie evidence of cruelty was lacking in this case.
The accused husband had been convicted by a trial court in Purulia in 2012 and sentenced to seven years of rigorous punishment based on an FIR filed by his wife’s father two years earlier.
During the appeal in Calcutta HC, the husband argued that most witnesses were declared hostile during the trial, and there was no substantial evidence to support the conviction.
The HC concurred, noting that all witnesses denied knowledge of the cause of the woman’s death. The court criticised the trial judge for engaging in guesswork by recording that the woman must not have been in a position to share her agony or the torture to anyone, and in guessing that the birth of a girl child was the cause of torture.

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