On Monday, less than a year after Vismaya's death, Kumar was pronounced guilty of all charges, including dowry death and harassment, and abetment of suicide. The verdict was pronounced by Kollam Additional Sessions Court Judge Sujith KN.
Vismaya had died by suicide on 21 June 2021, after she got married to then 30-year-old Kumar, a government employee.
Vismaya's father spoke to media outside the court and said that he is happy his daughter got justice.
Her mother told reporters outside their residence, "We expected life imprisonment. We will move the High Court against Kiran Kumar."
The court also ordered Kumar to pay a fine of Rs 12.55 lakh, which includes a Rs 2-lakh fine for abetting Vismaya’s suicide, a Rs 50,000-fine under the offence of criminal intimidation and a Rs 10-lakh fine under the Dowry Prohibition Act, to her parents as compensation.
Vismaya's Father Reached Court in Car He Had Gifted Her
Vismaya was in her final year of Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery course when she died by suicide. To get her married to Kiran, an official at the Motor Vehicles Department, the family gave a dowry of 100 sovereigns, an acre of land, and a Toyota Yaris car. But Kumar did not like the car and had been demanding a different model. He wanted additional cash as well.
Interestingly, Vismaya's father Thrivikraman Nair arrived in the same car that was allegedly the subject of argument between the couple, to the court on Tuesday.
The prosecution had sought the maximum possible punishment for the convict. "This is a verdict against a social evil and not just against on person," said the Special Public Prosecutor G Mohanraj.
Her soul resides in this car. I will always leave a seat vacant for her.Thrivikraman Nair, Vismaya's Father
Accused Requests Court to Spare Max Punishment
Kiran Kumar on Tuesday requested the court to spare him from maximum punishment as he was the lone support for his elderly parents. Kiran’s counsel opposed the life term citing a Supreme Court verdict that gave a 10-year jail term even in heinous crimes.
The offence of dowry death under Section 304B of IPC carries a minimum sentence of seven years and a maximum of life imprisonment. The offences of dowry harassment under Section 498A of IPC and abetment to suicide under Section 306 of IPC carry a maximum punishment of three years and a 10-year jail term, respectively.
Kiran stated that his mother was a diabetic patient with high blood pressure.
A charge sheet was filed in the matter in September 2021.
The 22-year old's family filed a complaint with the police, and Kiran was arrested and charged under Sections 304B (dowry death), 498A (cruelty by husband or a relative), 306 (abetment of suicide), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Two days before her death, Vismaya had sent messages to her cousin, saying that her husband had physically assaulted her many times over a car that was given to him as part of her dowry.
On Sunday, a day ahead of the court pronounced its verdict, a chilling voice recording, purportedly of Vismaya and her father, had emerged. In the audio, Vismaya could be heard crying and complaining about the harassment she was facing.