In his verdict delivered yesterday, the Additional Sessions Judge U M Nandeshwar junked defence of the accused Nilesh Tulsiram Bhad that he was a juvenile and also declined to grant benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act.
Under the Act, the court has power to release certain offenders after admonition. The court also imposed fine of Rs 5000 on Bhad. According to prosecution, the victim Sunita (19) got married to Bhad on May 15, 2011 in tribal-dominated Vikramgad taluka.
Additional Public Prosecutor Buleshwar Hinge said the victim had called up her father on the night of January 25, 2012 saying she was unable to bear torture by her husband. Though her father reached the spot and asked Bhad to not resort to cruelty to his daughter, Sunita was found hanging in her husband's house the next day.
A case under section 498(A) (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 306 (abetment of suicide), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) of IPC was registered against Bhad on complaint of the girl's father.
Taking a serious view, the court observed that the girl was subjected to cruelty prior to her death which is proved by the prosecution. The court examined 11 witnesses in the case.
"The accused presented school leaving certificate and also his birth certificate to get the benefit under the Probation of Offenders Act but the court summarily rejected his contention on the ground that the offence is a serious one and it does not fall under the purview of the Act," Assistant Public Prosecutor Buleshwar Hinge said.
Defence lawyer A V Badve argued the victim committed suicide as she was undergoing depression, but it failed to impress the court.