Delhi High Court seeks police report in counsellor death case

The woman was found dead at her matrimonial home in north Delhi on November 18, 2018, with her husband claiming in the plea that his wife ended her life as she was facing an inquiry and had lost her job.

The Delhi High Court has sought the stand of police on a plea by the parents of a 27-year-old woman, who worked as a counsellor for an NGO associated with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), accusing her in-laws and husband of murder and dowry harassment. It directed police to file a status report in the matter before the next date of hearing, February 15.

Justice Anup Jairam Bhambhani also issued a notice to the woman’s mother-in-law on the plea seeking setting aside of the trial court’s order granting her anticipatory bail in the matter, even when she went absconding after the court issued a non-bailable warrant against her.

Advocate Prashant Manchanda, appearing for the woman’s parents, also challenged the trial court’s December 20, 2018 order, expressing his apprehension that in its order, the trial court appears to have given its final conclusion in the matter, which may be used by other parties in the case to avail themselves of bail.

Relying on which, Justice Bhambhani said: “To allay such apprehension it is clarified that order dated 20.12.2018 granting anticipatory bail shall not be relied upon as comprising any final conclusions of the Special Judge for any purpose whatsoever.”

The woman was found dead at her matrimonial home in north Delhi on November 18, 2018, with her husband claiming in the plea that his wife ended her life as she was facing an inquiry and had lost her job.

However, her parents, in their plea alleged that she was murdered, following which her husband and father-in-law were arrested by police.
Manchanda, counsel of the woman’s parents, alleged, “she was killed within five months of her marriage, and was two months pregnant at the time”.

Pointing to the mobile text and WhatsApp messages of the woman to her parents immediately before her death, the counsel submitted that it is “relevant and admissible as dying declaration in the context of section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act”.

He further argued that the “consistent statements made by the woman’s siblings and her father before the SDM, which indispensably reflected the cruelty unleashed by her husband and her in laws on the deceased qua demand of Dowry soon before her death”.

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