Women sacrificing romantic relationship to placate their parents are a common phenomenon, the Indian Supreme Court has noted.
The observation was a part of the judgement of a case against a man facing charges of murdering his secretly-wedded wife in 1995 because of her parents’ disapproval.
“Such a reaction on the part of a girl to sacrifice her love and accept a decision of her parents, even though unwillingly, is a common phenomenon in this country,” said the SC bench comprising justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan.
According to the testimony of the victim’s father, her family had refused to accept the marriage due to caste differences. Meanwhile, the accused told court that he and the 23-year-old had consumed copper sulphate after deciding to kill themselves as a consequent of not being able to get the family’s nod. As the accused consumed less copper sulphate, he survived the attempt but the girl’s health deteriorated. He claimed to have left the building to get help but finding her hanging upon his return. She was later declared dead at the hospital.
“When she was madly in love with the appellant (man) and wanted to marry him, there is a possibility that after receiving such kind of treatment at the hands of her parents, in anguish she may have decided to revolt and, therefore, proposed to the appellant that they should get married for which they chose a secluded place.” the apex court noted.
The court, however, found the accused’s testimony “plausible”. It observed he may have killed in jealousy of seeing her with another man. “This might be the motive in the mind of appellant (man). However, whether events turned in this way is anybody’s guess as no evidence of this nature has surfaced. It is not even possible for the prosecution to state any such things as whatever actually happened was only known to two persons, one of whom is dead and other is in dock.”
However, the bench acquitted the man after observing that judgement of a criminal case could not be based on hypothesis.
This article originally appeared on The Times of India.
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