Nearly after a decade that a Kandivali resident from Mumbai had died by suicide along with her one and a half year old daughter, a sessions court acquitted her husband and in-laws as the father of the deceased woman turned hostile in court and failed to recognise her handwriting in the purported suicide note.
In October 2012, 28-year-old housewife Kritika Patel allegedly jumped off the 18th floor of an under construction building with daughter Jaini.
Police then said Kritika had left a suicide note in Gujarati that she took the drastic step as she was unable to keep family members happy. She, however, had categorically written that no family member should be blamed for the suicide.
A case of accidental death was registered and statements of her parents, who stayed in Borivali, were recorded.
Simultaneously, police were probing why Kritika was depressed. Jaywant Hargude, ACP then told media,
If her parents make any allegations, we will change the line of investigation.
Kritika’s father Vallabhdas Raiyani had asked police to hand over the body to her husband Kaushal Patel, who was a construction supervisor.
However, two days later, after completing the last rites, Raiyani complained to the cops and a case was registered against the Patels for offences relating to cruelty, dowry death, abetment to suicide and criminal breach of trust.
Allegations by Father (of deceased)
Krutika got married to Kaushal in 2009. It was submitted that she gave birth to a girl, but the accused were displeased. Hence, they used to taunt her and mentally and physically harass her.
The prosecution alleged that they used to refuse to buy her necessary medicines and in August 2012, they asked her to bring Rs 7 to 8 lakh from her parents for the interior decoration of the newly-purchased flat.
It was further submitted that when she failed to bring the money, the harassment worsened, due to which on October 22, 2012, she jumped off the building.
While Vallabhdas had initially (in 2012) accused the husband’s family of instigating his daughter to die by suicide through their harassment, now in 2022 in court, he claimed that he did not know why she took her life.
Additional sessions judge A Z Khan said in the judgement,
The complainant has unequivocally admitted that he was not in a proper mental condition due to the suicide and death of his deceased daughter whereby he had lodged the report against the accused (sic) in angry mood, but he does not know what are the contents thereof and the deceased Krutika never narrated to him that there was any demand or harassment to her on the part of any accused.
The prosecution examined only Krutika’s father as witness. After he turned hostile, the case was closed. While the father admitted there was some domestic dispute between his daughter and son-in-law, he said he did not know why she died by suicide.
Among those acquitted were Krutika’s husband Kaushal Patel (44), a civil contractor, his parents Gopal Patel (70), a labour contractor, and Rama Patel (65), a homemaker and his sister-in-law Tanvi Patel (41), also a homemaker.
Acquitting the four, the court said,
The prosecution has failed to prove that the accused in furtherance of your common intention since May 3, 2009 to October 22, 2012 committed the dowry death subjected to cruelty by wilful conduct by torturing physically and mentally by unlawful demand the cash etc.
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