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Report No. 202

1.4 Reference to the Commission.

This matter has come up for consideration of the Commission pursuant to the Order dated 31st January, 2003 of Allahabad High Court in Criminal Bail Application No. 12466 of 2002 in the case of Natthu v. State of U.P. In this case, it was alleged that Pritipal, son of Natthu was married to Urmila Devi about a year and half before her death. Pritipal and his father Natthu were not satisfied with the dowry given in marriage and were demanding a motorcycle in dowry which Urmila's father Sompal was unable to give.

They did not allow Urmila to visit her parental house until motorcycle was given and when Ramveer, brother of Urmila, went to fetch her, they threatened to beat him and told him that Urmila would be sent on giving of a motorcycle. Next day information was received that they along with others have killed Urmila Devi. The postmortem report showed a continuous ligature mark on the neck below the thyroid cartilage as well as five continuous marks. One of them being on the neck, just below the chin, and others, on the other parts of the body.

These were ante mortem injuries and prima facie indicated that Urmila Devi was beaten before strangulation. It was also mentioned by the Doctor in the postmortem report that the death of Urmila Devi was due to asphyxia as a result of ante mortem strangulation. prima facie it seemed to be a case of brutal murder of Urmila Devi. While dealing with the bail application referred to above, Hon'ble Mr. M. Katju J., as he then was, inter-alia observed.

"In my opinion dowry death is worse than murder but surprisingly there is no death penalty for it whereas death penalty can be given for murder. In my opinion the time has come when law be amended and death sentences should also be permitted in cases of dowry deaths". The Hon'ble Judge directed :

"Let a copy of this order be sent by the Registrar General of this Court to Hon'ble Law Minister of India and Hon'ble the Home Minister of India with the request that they may consider introducing a Bill in Parliament for such amendment as suggested above or an Ordinance by the Central Government to the same effect".

Proposal to amend Section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code Back

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