Kiran Kumar, Vismaya
Kochi: A former assistant motor vehicle inspector, who was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail by a Sessions Court for driving his wife Vismaya to suicide by perpetrating dowry-related cruelties on her, on Thursday moved the Kerala High Court against conviction and punishment.
His appeal, which came up for hearing before Justice Kauser Edappagath, was adjourned by the High Court which said it would hear arguments over the matter after a month.
The convict S Kiran Kumar, in his appeal, has claimed that he was convicted and punished without there being sufficient evidence to prove his guilt.
On May 23, the Sessions Court convicted Kumar for driving Vismaya to suicide by perpetrating dowry-related cruelties on her.
On May 24, the Sessions Court in Kollam sentenced him to 10 years for dowry death, six years and two years imprisonment for the offences of abetment to suicide and dowry harassment under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), six years for the offence of taking dowry and one year for demanding dowry under the Dowry Prohibition Act.
However, as the sentences were to be served concurrently, the convict has to serve only the maximum of the jail terms -- 10 years.
A total fine of Rs 12.55 lakh was also imposed on Kumar by the court which said that out of the same, Rs 2 lakh be paid to the parents of the victim.
In the 441-page long judgement, the Sessions Court had said, "The accused (Kumar) had perpetrated utmost sorts of dowry-related cruelties on his wife and thereby, driven her to commit suicide."
"He (Kumar) was bound to protect his wife and he was capable of doing that. However, he had chosen a different decision to taunt and harass his wife. His wife was also having dreams. She might have entered into the family life with good hope and great expectations. But the menace of dowry dashed all her aspirations," the court had observed.
Kumar, who was an assistant motor vehicle inspector, was dismissed from service after his arrest in the case and State Transport Minister Antony Raju had said that there would be no change in that irrespective of whether the court convicts him or not.
Vismaya (22), an Ayurveda medical student, was found dead in the house of her husband at Sasthamkotta in Kollam district on June 21, 2021. A day before the incident, Vismaya had sent WhatsApp messages to her relatives over the alleged harassment by Kumar over dowry as well as photos of wounds and marks of beatings on her body.
Her father had said 100 sovereigns of gold (one sovereign is equal to 8 grams gold) and over one-acre land, besides a car worth Rs 10 lakh were given as dowry to Kumar during the wedding in 2020. But Kumar did not like the car and wanted Rs 10 lakh in cash. As he was told it was not possible, he used to torture her, the father had said. PTI