The offence of dowry death is a crime against society and a strong message must be sent that a person who commits such an offence shall be dealt with an iron hand, the Supreme Court has said.
A Bench of Justices M R Shah and B V Nagarathna said the legislative intent of incorporating Section 304B (dowry death) of the Indian Penal Code was to curb the menace of dowry death with a firm hand.
“In dealing with cases under Section 304B, such legislative intent has to be kept in mind. The offence under Section 304B – the offence of dowry death is an offence against society. Such offences have a serious impact on society.
“Keeping in mind the aforesaid aspects, imposition of sentence for the offence of dowry death is required to be considered. A strong message must go in the society that a person who commits such an offence of dowry death and/or the offences under the Dowry Prohibition Act shall be dealt with an iron hand,” the Bench said.
The observations came while hearing an appeal filed by mother in law and father-in-law of a woman, who died within a year of marriage, challenging an order of the Jharkhand High Court against their conviction.
The top court said the demand for dowry has been established and proved by the prosecution.
“The deceased died within a period of one year of her marriage. The accused came out with a false case/theory that the deceased died because of Diarrhoea, which has not been established and proved by the defence,” the bench said.