A Canada-based expatriate Indian, who married a young divorcee in Delhi but deserted her soon after marriage which led her to commit suicide, has been convicted by a Delhi court for subjecting her to mental torture but let off with a mild sentence asking him to serve a blind school in the city for six months.
After convicting Pawan Dass, a resident of Surrey in Canada, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau let him off on probation on the plea for leniency by his counsel, who pointed out that he had been in jail for last 11 months.
Lau, however, ordered him to perform community service at blind students school at Kingsway Camp in North Delhi for six months.
"Single women particularly divorcee are easy prey. In the hope of getting away from anxieties and pressures of day-to-day life, they become victims of NRIs, who sell them tall dreams of a bright life away from their homes and after marriage abandoned them causing physical, mental and psychological deprivation as has happened in the present case," Lau said, convicting Dass.
The Delhi police had sent up Dass for trial on charges of subjecting his wife Richa to cruelty and driving her to commit suicide in April 2004 after marrying her during one of his brief visits to Delhi from Canada in December 2003. The court, however, acquitted him of the charges of drving her to commit suicide.
A divorcee, Dass had married Richa after winning her sympathies, the prosecution alleged adding that after the wedlock he had returned to Canada and began living there with his first wife with whom he had a break-up earlier and her children.
Before marrying Richa, Dass compelled her to convert to Christianity, but refused to speak to her properly even on phone as she made long-distance calls to speak to him, said prosecution adding that he would even abuse her on phone, resulting in bouts of abysmal depression.
"If using filthy / abusive language to the newly married wife on telephone is not cruelty then what else is?" the judge said on Pawan's defence that he had not subjected Richa to cruelty.
The court pointed out that "of late a large number of cases have come to light where the NRIs have been exploiting young qualified Indian women in the name of marriage."