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Death penalty should be given to those killing for dowry: SC

Death penalty should be given to those killing for dowry: SC

The Supreme Court on 28 oct 2010 said that death sentence should be awarded in dowry death and bride burning cases as they fall under the "rarest of rarest" category while observing the Indian society has become totally sick and commercial.A bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra in an order said time has come to stamp out the evil of bride killing cases with an iron hand so that it acts as a deterrent."We see no reason to disagree with the judgement and order of the (Allahabad) High Court convicting the appellants.In fact, it was really a case under Section 302 IPC (murder) and death sentence should have been imposed in such a case, but since no charge under Section 302 IPC was levelled, we cannot do so. "Otherwise such cases of bride burning, in our opinion, fall in the category of rarest of rare cases, and hence deserve death sentence," the judges said."Although bride burning or bride hanging cases have become common in our country, in our opinion, the expression 'rarest of rare' as referred to in Bachan Singh vs State of Punjab(1980) does not mean that the act is uncommon, it means that the act is brutal and barbaric. Bride killing is certainly barbaric," the bench said.The apex court passed the order while upholding the life sentence imposed on Satyanarayan Tiwari and his mother for strangulating and setting ablaze the former's wife Geeta in pursuit of their demand for dowry in UP on November 3, 2000.Though the Sessions Court had acquitted the mother and the son, the Allahabad High Court on an appeal from the State had reversed the acquittal and awarded life imprisonment to the duo under Section 304B(dowry death) which carried a maximum sentenced of life imprisonment, 498-A (harassment) and Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.Aggrieved, the convicts appealed in the apex court.However, the apex court took strong exception to the manner in which the victim was strangulated and burnt to death which, it said, revealed the growing commercialisation and scant respect for women in the country."The hallmark of a healthy society is the respect it shows to women. Indian society has become a sick society. This is evident from the large number of cases coming up in this court (and also in almost all courts in the country) in which young women are being killed by their husbands or by their in-laws by pouring kerosene on them and setting them on fire or by hanging/strangulating them."What is the level of civilisation of a society in which a large number of women are treated in this horrendeous and barbaric manner? What has our society become.This is illustrated by this case," the bench said


 13 Replies

Bhartiya No. 1 (Nationalist)     29 October 2010

Good Judgment with good observations. Earlier too they had said that "Why not they (bride burners) be hanged for this act"

Here the person who has vowed and supposed to protect her is killing her. So naturally it comes under rarest of rare cases.

1 Like

superfast munnabhai (trainee)     29 October 2010

I have doubts on this. And a citizen I would like to know about it. This news was shown on the TV.


One judge aquited both these people. But again high court gave them life setence.


Then why didn't supreme court upgrade that sentence to 'hang till death' or why didn't  they order to file the whole case again as per 302 section to police so that upgraded setence can be given to them.


Why Doesn't supreme court do anything with that corrupt judge and also police who had aquitted them earlier??


People have lost faith in the law because supreme courts can make only frustrating remarks only!! for example:  'legalise corruption once for all everywhere' and like that.


1 Like

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     01 November 2010

in cases where  dowry death is proved beyond any doubt , death sentence shud be the rule rather than an exception.

1 Like

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     01 November 2010

superfast sir

if a lower  judge differs in opinion from a supreme court judge , its not necessary he is corrupt. although corruption has become rampant but we cannot label that judge as corrupt. two people can never think alike and interpret facts in same way. so please dont label judge as corrupt. regarding police i agree with you 99% are corrupt. regarding judges at all levels still there is a reasonable degree of fairness and honesty prevalent.

2 Like

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     01 November 2010

agreed with ms avnish

Arup (UNEMPLOYED)     01 November 2010

what about, those who are victim of FALSE dowry, 498a or dv cases?

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     01 November 2010

filing false cases too is punishable under ipc , use this against those filing false cases

SS (VP)     01 November 2010

In a way Superfast is much right.


Are all these practical in our system? A dowry case goes on for 5-7 years atleast.  This is especially so when there are clear lack of evidences.  The complainant wishes to prolong the case.  Concurrently most of the times the divorce also runs concurrently.


After all these then the appeals.  Later when one files a complaint against the false case this will go on for another few years. In the meantime the couple would have been past their youth and have lost the most important part of their lives. For no gain nothing all is lost.


Infact marriage has become like gambling to most middle class and lower middle class. 


Now when we look at convictions I understand it is hardly 2% in these PDA cases. 


I think prope councelling is the solution to improve the mental health of our youth.  They are behind money at any cost. They and all those who fuels this ambition in the youth should be educated properly the risk of their ambitions. Afterall hard work pays and getting rich in no time is not the only thing achived in life. Moral education should imbibe this.


The above are just a bit on the social analysis of this problem.



pankaj (Engineer)     08 November 2010

Similary life term shall be awarded to all those who misuse 498a and Dowry laws!

pankaj (Engineer)     08 November 2010

Avnishji Corruption is the real LAW of India!

I can say this because I had suffered Indian judicial system!

Infact if a person is aquitted, he/she shall be paid for everyday he/she had been accused!

AND this compensation shall be mandatory in ALL cases!

The money shall come from the pockets of complainent (60%), investigating agencies (25%) and (15%) from court of law. Only when these lazy dumbholes will have to shell off money, they will stop misusing laws!

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     08 November 2010

you are right in saying this as a large number of families are suffering for no fault of theirs. there are provisions in IPC  against such people who file false complaints. sec 211/511 deal with this , but in hurry and panic they are running from pillar to post to avoid arrest and getting bail. so these are usually not used.

if u use laws properly through a good lawyer , even this is possible to prosecute a women making false and frivilous compliant. but for this u need proofs beyond reasonable doubt.

theoretically it is possible under existing law also, but only rarely  cases with such strong proofs against girl  linger in court for long, as girls' side enter into compromise to avoid no such case has been reported.

there is no provision in IPC for compensation ... sigh . campaign for law change by parliament to this effect!


Siv (engineer)     24 December 2010



if dowry death accused can be punished with death sentence then why is section 304B IPC (dowry death section) .... while there are many sections of IPC available for punishment of men for any action against the women (beating, teasing, scolding etc ) what is the need of dowry law section 498A IPC. 

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