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Roshni B.. (For justice and dignity)     23 March 2011

Parents of dowry death victims also to blame: ASJ

Does the responsibility of parents end with their daughter getting married? This is the question that a city court raised during a recent hearing on the death of a woman due to alleged dowry harassment.

After listening to the parents claim that the victim had written letters narrating her traumatic experiences, Additional Sessions Judge Madhu Jain criticised her parents for not doing anything to save her life. The judge observed that while the husband and in-laws deserved no mercy in matters relating to bail and punishment, her own parents were also certainly at fault for not fulfilling their moral duty. While dismissing the bail plea of the mother-in-law of the victim, Neetu, the judge expressed shock over the fact that her parents were seeking rejection of bail on the basis of letters written by their daughter, but would not explain why they did not rescue her

“As per the parents, these letters were written by Neetu to them. After a bare reading of these letters, the plight and condition of the deceased can be understood even by a layman or a stranger. But it seems that the parents of the deceased, despite receiving such letters, did not take any action to bring her back or make any complaint against the accused persons,” the judge said.

“Are the parents also not responsible for the death of their daughters in such cases? Is it not the moral responsibility of the parents, who — after giving away their daughters in marriage — do not bother about their well-being?” she noted in her order. “These letters show how the deceased was being treated by her husband and in-laws after the marriage. From the letters, it is also clear that she was not even given woollen clothes to wear in the winter,” the court noted, criticising their indifference.


Neetu, who had married Suresh in June 2009, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in July 2010. Following inquest proceedings, an FIR under charges of causing death for dowry and treating her with cruelty was lodged at the Burari police station.


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