The Kerala HIgh Court on Wednesday issued notice to the State government on an appeal moved by Kiran Kumar against conviction and sentence imposed on him by a trial court for the death of his wife, Vismaya.
Justice Kauser Edappagath admitted the appeal and issued notice through the public prosecutor.
Vismaya, a 24-year-old Ayurveda Medical student, was found hanging from the window of a bathroom in Kumar's house on June 21, 2021.
Kumar was booked for charges under Sections 498A (subjecting a woman to cruelty for dowry), 306 (abetment of suicide) and 304B (dowry death) of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
Only a few days prior to her death, Vismaya had sent pictures of bruises and wounds on her body to her relatives through WhatsApp claiming that she was being harassed by her husband for dowry. Screenshots of the WhatsApp chat and voice notes sent by her were shared by her family after she was found dead.
She had allegedly suffered the injuries due to the physical abuse meted out to her by Kumar and his family due to dissatisfaction over the "gifts" given to them for their wedding.
While the early reports alleged suicide, it was later investigated as a potential homicide.
In May 2022, a trial court convicted Kiran Kumar for all the offences alleged noting in the judgment which ran to 441 pages, that he had meted out dowry related harassment and abuse to Vismaya throughout the subsistence of their marriage.
Additional District and Sessions Judge at Kollam, Sujith KN, awarded the following sentence to Kumar:
304B IPC: 10 years imprisonment;
306 IPC: 6 years imprisonment, ₹2 lakh fine;
498A IPC: 2.5 years imprisonment, ₹50,000 fine;
Section 3 Dowry Prohibition Act: 6 years imprisonment, ₹10 lakh fine;
Section 4 Dowry Prohibition Act: 1 year imprisonment, ₹5,000 fine;