The Kerala High Court on Tuesday, January 4 refused to grant bail to the husband of a 21-year-old law student who committed suicide and left behind a note blaming him, his parents and a police officer for taking the extreme step. Justice Gopinath P declined to grant the relief to the victim's husband saying the allegations against him were very serious. The high court, however, granted bail to his parents saying that the allegations against them were vague and confined to demand of dowry.
Additional Public Prosecutor P Narayanan had opposed the grant of any relief to the husband and the parents-in-law of the victim, saying there were serious allegations against them. The victim's husband and in-laws were arrested on November 24 last year and a case registered against them under Sections 304B (dowry death), 498A (dowry harassment), 306 (abetment of suicide) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. While the maximum punishment for dowry death is life imprisonment, it is three years' jail term for dowry harassment and 10 years for abetment of suicide.
In her suicide note, Mofia Parveen, the third year law student, had alleged that the then SHO of Aluva East Police Station had misbehaved with her when she went there with her father to give her statement regarding her complaint of dowry harassment and domestic violence against her husband and in-laws.
The incident had created an uproar in the state and the officer was relieved of his charge and later suspended.
According to Mofia's father, he went to the station with his daughter to give her statement and she had made it clear before going there that she did not want her submission to be recorded in her husband's presence.
However, the officer spoke to them in her husband's presence and also spoke inappropriately and rudely to him and his daughter, the father told the media and added that it was the officer's conduct which demoralised her.
After returning home, she was worried whether police would take any action in view of the officer's conduct at the station, the father of the student had claimed and said that she killed herself in her room later that day.