Kerala court sentences husband to 10 years jail, imposes Rs 12 lakh fine in Vismaya dowry death case

An additional sessions court in Kerala’s Kollam Tuesday sentenced a former state government employee to ten years of imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 12.05 lakh after he was found guilty in a dowry death case.

The court on Monday had found Kiran Kumar, who was an additional vehicle inspector with the state motor vehicle department, guilty in the case of the dowry death of his wife, Vismaya V Nair, an ayurvedic medical student.

The court had found Kumar guilty under sections 304-B (dowry death), 306 (abetment to suicide) and 498-A (any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Kumar has been sentenced to undergo ten years of imprisonment for section 304-B, six years of imprisonment for section 306 and two years of imprisonment under section 498-A. All the sentences would run concurrently. Of the fine imposed on the convicted, Rs 2 lakh has to be paid to the parents of the victim.

Vismaya’s family said they would move an appeal, seeking life imprisonment for the convict.

Vismaya was found dead in Kumar’s house in Kollam under mysterious circumstances on June 21, 2021. Following the incident, Kumar was dismissed from service.

The couple got married in May 2020. Kumar was allegedly unhappy with a new car, costing Rs 11 lakh, gifted to the couple by Vismaya’s father Trivikraman Nair. Apart from the car, Trivikraman had given 1.25 acres of land and 100 sovereigns of gold to Kumar as dowry at the time of marriage. But Kumar had been allegedly harassing his wife, saying he deserved better.

The case shook the state’s conscience, leading to a campaign against dowry and Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan held a day-long fast at Raj Bhavan as part of it. He even instructed the universities in Kerala to ask students to give an undertaking that they would not seek or give dowry. He wanted that if the students are later found violating this and if a court indicts them, the university should cancel their degrees.

The prosecution had demanded life imprisonment for the accused.

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