Kerala dowry case: Court convicts husband for abetting wife’s suicide

This is a verdict against a social evil and not just against one person," said the special public prosecutor. The court also cancelled Kiran’s bail and he was taken away to the district jail

An Ayurveda medical student, Vismaya was found hanging in the bathroom of Kiran Kumar’s house in Kollam district on June 21 last year. She was being harassed for more dowry, her husband was unhappy with the ₹10 lakh car and wanted cash

Justice was served, as the husband of Vismaya, an Ayurveda medical student who had hung herself in her marital home in June last year, has been found guilty of dowry harassment charges and convicted for dowry death and abettment of suicide by a Kerala court on Monday (May 23). This verdict comes 11 months and two days after the 22-year-old college girl’s tragic death.

The special public prosecutor (SPP) G Mohanraj told reporters that the Additional District and Sessions court court also convicted the husband, Kiran Kumar, for the offence of dowry related harassment under the IPC and various provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

The quantum of punishment will be decided by the court on Tuesday, however, the prosecution would be seeking the maximum possible punishment for Kumar, a former assistant motor vehicle inspector.

“This is a verdict against a social evil and not just against one person,” the SPP said.

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The court also cancelled Kiran’s bail after the verdict was announced and he was immediately taken away to the district jail. Kumar, who has also lost his government job after this dowry case shook the state, failed to reply to queries by reporters for his comment on the verdict.

Vismaya was found hanging in the bathroom of Kiran Kumar’s house in Kollam district on June 21 last year and her husband was arrested the next day. However, the Supreme Court had granted him bail and he was out on March 2022. Vismaya’s father spoke to reporters outside the court and said that his daughter has got justice and praised the prosecution and investigating team.

Also read: Dowry harassment cases rising in Kerala; law unable to help

Vismaya’s mother, who was glad her daughter got justice, wanted Kumar to get the maximum punishment. A dowry death offence under section 304B of IPC carries a minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum of life imprisonment, while dowry harassment under Section 498A of IPC and abetment to suicide under Section 306 of IPC involves a maximum punishment of three years and 10 years jail term, respectively.

Vismaya’s brother told the media that thought this verdict will not bring his sister back, he is hopeful that it will act as a deterrent for others and help others from suffering a similar fate. IG Harshitha Attaluri, who was overseeing the probe in the case, said that dowry was the cause behind the harassment and cruelty suffered by the victim, who then took the extreme step of taking her life.

Kerala Police had in its over 500-page charge sheet said that Vismaya committed suicide due to dowry harassment.

Vismaya was a fourth-year student of ayurveda medicine and surgery in Mannam Ayurveda college at Pandalam. She married Kiran Kumar on May 31, 2020 and a year later, she had hung herself.

Vismaya’s family had alleged that she had committed suicide due to dowry harassment. They produced digital evidence to prove their claims and that nailed Kumar in court. Vismaya had sent a voice message to her father saying that she if she stayed any longer in her husband‘s home, she would commit suicide.

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