A district court in Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh, has sentenced a woman to life imprisonment for setting her husband on fire over his ‘dark complexion’, an incident which took place four years ago.
Additional sessions judge Ashok Kumar Yadav also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the accused, Premshree, who has been lodged in the jail for the past four years in connection with the case. Her four-and-half-year old daughter was also with her during the sentencing.
Premshree (26) had a strong disliking towards her husband Satveer (25) for his appearance and had sought divorce multiple times, threatening her husband with dire consequences. However, Satveer did not take her threats seriously and continued to live with his wife despite regular quarrels.
Although the duo eventually had a daughter, their relationship continued to be sour as the wife still wanted to leave her husband for his “ugly looks”. On April 15, 2019, Premshree poured petrol on Satveer while he was asleep and set him on fire.
While being in critical condition in hospital for a few hours, Satveer named his wife as his murderer in his dying statement to the police. In his statement, the deceased also mentioned that his wife used to threaten him about setting him ablaze if he did not give her a divorce.
Premshree was arrested after Satveer’s brother filed an FIR. In his statement, the deceased had said: “I took my wife to her parental house a day before, where my in-laws told me that she doesn’t like me and wants to leave me. I returned home the same night. The next morning, I was sleeping at home when my wife set me on fire. My wife never liked me since we got married because of my looks and often quarreled with me. She said my complexion was dark and that I should leave her, or else she would set me ablaze. Today, she acted on that threat…”
Although Premshree claimed she was innocent and that she had tried to save her husband, the court found inconsistency in her statements vis-a-vis witness testimonies.
In its judgement, the court said that the charges against Premshree were proved beyond any reasonable doubt.
It was not immediately clear if Premshree’s daughter would also live with her in the jail or whether the child’s maternal grandparents would get custody.
While Premshree told the media that she was framed by her in-laws due to a property dispute, Satveer’s father Mahendra Singh expressed satisfaction with the court’s verdict.
(With DHNS inputs)
(Published 08 November 2023, 10:24 IST)