New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): Delhi’s Saket Court recently acquitted a doctor, whose wife had allegedly died by suicide, giving him the benefit of the doubt citing inconsistency in the statement of prosecution witnesses.
His wife, who was also a doctor, had died by suicide in August 2013, within 7 years of marriage.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Vishal Pahuja acquitted Paras Khanna after considering the submissions, evidence, facts and circumstances of the case.
The court said that in view of the material inconsistencies in the testimony of the prosecution witnesses and due to the lack of cogent evidence lead on the record, this court is of the view that the prosecution has miserably failed to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
“The evidence coming on record entitles the accused to the benefit of the doubt. Therefore, the accused Paras Khanna is hereby acquitted of the charges levelled against him in the present case,” ASJ Pahuja said in the judgement passed on September 27.
The court also said that the prosecution has failed to establish that the accused caused harassment or cruelty to the deceased in order to meet the demands of dowry. Hence, the presumption of law u/s 113A of the Indian Evidence Act does not get attracted.
Further, the prosecution has also failed to prove on record the abetment of suicide of the victim by the accused as none of the acts of the accused falls under the situations listed u/s 107 IPC, said the court.
“Hence, the essential ingredients of Section 306 Indian Penal Code are also not made out against the accused,” the court said in the judgement.
The court said that the contradictions appearing in the testimony of material prosecution witnesses as well as the unrebutted and uncontroverted depositions of defence witnesses are sufficient to discharge the onus of the accused and therefore the accused can be said to have successfully rebutted the presumption of law.
On August 13, 2013, Delhi police received information regarding a suicide committed by a lady at Doctor at Hostel AIIMS Trauma Centre, New Delhi.
The Victim identified as Dr Varnika was shifted to AIIMS Trauma Centre where she was declared dead.
On preliminary inquiry, it was found that the deceased was married to Dr Paras Khanna in November 2012, so the information regarding the same was communicated to SDM, Vasant Kunj who inspected the spot.
On August 14, 2013, SDM conducted the proceedings under section 176 CrPC and, on his instructions, the post-mortem of the deceased was conducted
SDM recorded the statement of the father of the deceased, on the basis of which the present FIR was registered.
Court had framed the charge for the offences punishable under sections 498A (Harassment for dowry), 304B (Dowry Death) IPC and in alternate under section 306 IPC against accused Paras Khanna, who pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.
Accused Shalini Khanna was discharged from the present matter vide the same order
dated November 25, 2014.
Father of the deceased Dr. Varnika had stated that she was married to accused Paras Khanna on November 18, 2012. From the very first day of marriage, the daughter of the complainant was harassed for bringing less and insufficient dowry., he alleged
He alleged that Accused Paras Khanna, his mother Shalini Khanna and his sister Parul Khanna used to demand dowry and harass Dr Varnika.
He stated that in January 2013, Dr. Varnika after getting frustrated left her matrimonial house and went to a temple. After hearing this from the accused, the complainant along with his wife came to Delhi. The accused abused the parents of the deceased, complainant took his daughter alongwith him to the house of his younger daughter.
Accused Paras Khanna visited the complainant and admitted his mistake and stated that the same mistake will not be repeated. The complainant and his family members sent the deceased back to her matrimonial home but she was again harassed by the accused and his family members. She was told by her in-laws that they were expecting a luxury car in dowry, said the judge. (ANI)
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