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Life imprisonment to father for honour killing: SC

  • The Supreme Court has enhanced the punishment awarded to a man, from 10 years jail term to life imprisonment, who was accused of killing his pregnant daughter for eloping and getting married to her lover belonging to a lower cast family against his wishes.

    The apex court stated that the man deserved a severe punishment for the heinous offence and enhanced the ten year jail term awarded by Karnataka High Court.

    "It would necessarily follow that the accused committed murder of his daughter Shilpa who was in the advanced stage of pregnancy and for which he was liable to be punished with either imprisonment for life or death under Section 302 of IPC alone. In the peculiar factual background of this case, we do not find it a fit case to impose death penalty," the bench said.

    Earlier in this matter, the said accused was acquitted by the trial court on the basis that there was no sufficient evidence to prove his guilt and many of the witnessed had turned hostile. The trial court had refused to rely on the testimony of mother-in-law of the deceased girl, who had seen the accused committing the crime. The trial court had said that there were discrepancies in her statements.

    Later when the matter was taken to the Karnataka High Court, the court found that her statements were trustworthy and convicted the accused. The HC had awarded ten years imprisonment. Thereafter, the accused appealed in SC against his conviction.

    While observing his plea, the apex court came to the conclusion that the quantum of punishment given by HC was not sufficient for such a crime and sought his response on why it should not be increased. The convict pleaded the court to allow him to withdraw his appeal but his plea was rejected and was awarded life imprisonment

    In the present case, victim Shilpa, who belonged to Lingayat community, fell in love with Ravi Kumar from the Naik community and she eloped with him and they got married in court in 2002. Shilpa then started living with her in-laws.

    On October 3, 2003, her father came to her house and killed her in the bathroom. Her mother-in-law saw him fleeing away from the spot with a blood stained sickle. She then registered a FIR against him and he was caught by the police 20 days after the incident.
     


    OUR TAKE

    The step taken by the apex court of enhancing the punishment is totally justified. Crimes like honour killing, female foeticide and dowry killings should be condemned by the court with utmost severity, in order to deter such acts as far as possible. It is high time court should apply a regressive approach towards such criminals.


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