Legal Blog: Bride Burning falls under 'Rarest of Rare' cases : Supreme Court

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bride Burning falls under 'Rarest of Rare' cases : Supreme Court

This snippet may be read in continuation of our previous post on the Law relating to Dowry Death. The Supreme Court, in a recent Judgment has stated that Bride Burning falls under the category of 'rarest of rare' cases and deserves the death penalty.

The Bench comprising Justice Markandey Katju and Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra, opened their judgment with the words "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 civilsation of a society in which a large number of women are treated in this horrendous and barbaric manner? What has our society become - this is illustrated by this case."

The Bench went on to hold;

"We have carefully perused the impugned judgment and order of the High Court and the judgment of the trial court and other evidence on record. We see no reason to disagree with the judgment and order of the High Court convicting the appellants. In fact, it was really a case under Section 302 IPC 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. 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, AIR 1980 SC 898 does not mean that the act is uncommon, it means that the act is brutal and barbaric. Bride killing is certainly barbaric.

Crimes against women are not ordinary crimes committed in a fit of anger or for property. They are social crimes. They disrupt the entire social fabric. Hence, they call for harsh punishment. Unfortunately, what is happening in our society is that out of lust for money people are often demanding dowry and after extracting as much money as they can they kill the wife and marry again and then again they commit the murder of their wife for the same purpose. This is because of total commercialization of our society, and lust for money which induces people to commit murder of the wife. The time has come when we have to stamp out this evil from our society, with an iron hand."

Find the Entire Judgment here.

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The Legal Blog.in

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