Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Delhi High Court upholds conviction in ‘honour killing' case

Delhi High Court upholds conviction in ‘honour killing' case

Monday, Jun 28, 2010

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction of a man in a so-called ‘honour killing' case in which he had killed his daughter for entering into an adulterous relation with a relative. The court rejected the argument of the accused that the crime was committed on the spur of the moment in the Najafgarh area in West Delhi in 2006.

The prosecution case against the convict, Bhagwan Dass, was that having felt humiliated at his daughter being in an incestuous relationship with his maternal aunt's son, the accused had murdered his daughter.

The trial court had sentenced Bhagwan Dass to life imprisonment on the basis of his statement given to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of the area concerned in which he had admitted his guilt, and he had also got recovered the electric wire with which he had strangled his daughter.

However in his statement before the trial court, Bhagwan Dass had denied having made any statement before the SDM. He also denied that he had murdered his daughter. Rather, he told the court that it was he who had informed the court about the death of his daughter.

The High Court also rejected the statement recorded before the SDM saying that it was inadmissible as evidence as it was recorded before the investigating officer of the case.

The two circumstances which led to rejection of the appeal of the convict by the High Court were his presence at his house when the death of his daughter occurred there and not informing the local police about her death for more than eight hours after her murder.

Counsel for the convict argued before a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Suresh Kait that the case fell under culpable homicide not amounting to murder as he had committed the crime on the spur of the moment when he lost his self control on being told something uncharitable by his daughter during the heated exchange between them.

However, the Bench rejected this argument. The Bench said: “The provocation of the deceased running away after abandoning her husband and being in adultery with her cousin uncle was a fact in the knowledge of the appellant for over a month and surely this conduct of the deceased would not be a sudden or a grave provocation resulting in loss of self control.”

“That the appellant met his daughter after over a month and chose to have a dialogue with her on the emotive issue of how his daughter should conduct herself socially was with sufficient forewarning to the appellant that he had to deal with an obstinate daughter who could not only test his patience to the extreme but could even possibly provoke him to anger and retribution. It is in this backdrop that we are compelled to hold that the appellant may not be entitled to the defence of loss of self control,” the Bench ruled.

The Bench said, “it is apparent that the victim was killed between 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. when she was sleeping. The accused did not specify what was the provocation from the side of his daughter which angered him.”



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