Delhi court pulls up magistrate for improper inquest

New Delhi, Jan 29 (IANS) Directing “zero tolerance” for dowry death cases, a court in the capital has pulled up an executive magistrate for handling investigation in a lackadaisical way.

The court observation came last Friday when it awarded life imprisonment to a 25-year-old painter, Vicky, after convicting him for killing his wife. A fine of Rs.15,000 was also imposed on him.
The court not only came down heavily on the convict but also pulled up Executive Magistrate M.P. Kushwaha for not doing his job responsibly.
According to prosecution, Vicky killed his wife June 17, 2011, by hitting her on the head with a PVC pipe. The incident took place just six months after their marriage.
The mother of the woman told the court her daughter had complained about Vicky’s behaviour, who, under the influence of liquor, used to beat her and demanded money on the pretext of dowry.
“If we want the society to be ridden of this growing evil, it is imperative that whenever a drastic crime of this nature is detected, the courts should exercise zero tolerance for the same and deal with the offender ruthlessly and impose deterrent punishment,” Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said in an order delivered last Friday.
“I may observe that in the present case, the manner in which Executive Magistrate M.P. Kushwaha has conducted the inquest proceedings is highly improper,” the court said.
The court said even in other cases of unnatural deaths of young girls within seven years of marriage, very rarely do these officials (executive magistrate), conducting the probe, visit the spot of incident, make inquiry or inspect the scene of crime.
It added that such officials usually end the proceedings after recording the statements of the parents.
Saying that the irregularities and illegality noticed do not end here, the court added in the present case Kushwaha did not visit the scene of crime at the first instance and called the parents and brother of the deceased woman to the police station where he recorded their statements.
To this, Kushwaha responded that it was not his job but that of the police.
Irked by his reply, the court said that such facts must be brought on record, and directed a copy of this order be placed before the Delhi government and other competent authorities for taking necessary action against erring officials as per law.
The court observed Vicky failed to do his job as a husband and tarnished the sacramental image of marriage, believed to be ordained in heaven.