Dowry harassment case: Retired armyman pleads for mercy killing
JAMSHEDPUR: A retired army man on Tuesday submitted a petition to the President of India seeking mercy killing, apparently annoyed at the slow progress of justice after being "falsely implicated" by his son's in-laws in a dowry case. A distressed Ramnath Das, who was employed with the mechanical wing of the Electronic Mechanical Engineering Corp of the Army, appealed to Pranab Mukherjee to ensure early justice to him or permit him to end the life willingly. "The agony of this dowry case has troubled my family to such an extent that in the last two years most of the members of the family have gone into depression and are ailing from various psychological problems," the letter addressed to the President reads. A resident of Gadra in Pursudih, Das said his 30-year-old son Praveen, who is employed with Navi Mumbai-based JSW Ispat Ltd, had married Vibha of Kasidih on November 23, 2010. "From the early days of the marriage, her (the daughter-in-laws') family has been pressuring Parveen to stay with them, much to the opposition of my son," the 57-year-old said which, according to him, prompted the woman's family members to plot schemes to harass them. Finding no respite from the day-in-day-out quarrel, Das, who retired from the Army in October 1989, approached the local police station and the SSP for action against the in-laws. "When they (the in-laws) found that I have approached the police, they also filed a petition at the chief judicial magistrate's court (in early 2012) under section 498 A of the Anti-dowry Act and falsely implicated us," said Das. Soon, summons were issued against Das, his wife Sunita and son Praveen. Das and his wife approached the court for anticipatory bail and were granted. "But given that my son, who stayed in Mumbai, didn't appear in person for seeking bail, arrest warrant was issued against him. We approached the Jharkhand high court for anticipatory bail. But the court denied bail and he surrendered on Monday," said Das who is currently engaged in a part-time marketing job of a finance company. The ex-serviceman said the agony had demoralized his entire family, including two daughters and three sons, and now he finds no reason to live anymore. "For the last 13 months, I have been waiting for the judiciary to delivery justice to my family that has been falsely implicated in the Anti-dowry Act by the family of the daughter-in-law," a visibly distressed Das said after submitting the mercy petition at the deputy commissioner's office on Tuesday. He said the respect of his family in the society was diminished ever since the matter surfaced in public. "It is not a matter of one individual. Hundreds of innocent families in the country are suffering owing to inept handling of the dowry cases by the law enforcing agencies and judicial machinery of India," Das said in the petition.