Neurosurgeon, mother convicted for dowry death

Sentenced to seven-year RI for abetment of suicide

A mahila court has convicted a neurosurgeon working in a government hospital and his mother for causing the death of his wife, who was a psychiatrist, by harassing her for dowry. They were sentenced to seven-year rigorous imprisonment for abetment of suicide.

According to the prosecution, the first accused, Mariano Anto Bruno Mascarenhas, was a neurosurgeon in the Government Multispecialty Hospital in the Government Omandurar Estate. His wife, Amali Victoria, a postgraduate in psychiatry, was working in the Institute of Mental Health, Kilpauk.

On November 5, 2014, she was found dead in the bathroom of their home in Ayanavaram, where she lived with her husband and his parents. The police initially treated her death as being under suspicious circumstances, but the family claimed she had died due to illness. The case was investigated by personnel from the Ayanavaram police station and it was found that she ended her life due to physical and mental harassment meted out by Bruno and his parents.

Mariano Anto Bruno and Amali Victoria completed their MBBS degrees and married in 2005. From the third month of the marriage, she was frequently harassed for dowry, the prosecution said. She gave a birth a baby boy in 2007. She obtained an MD in psychiatry and got gold medal from the Governor. After getting the gold medal, the accused harassed her more, the prosecution said.

She got a job in the Vellore Government Hospital and at the time, was weak after undergoing an abortion. She was advised to rest for three weeks but her in-laws continued making her perform household chores, the prosecution said.

The police charged Mario Anto Bruno, his father John Bricks Mascarenhas, and mother Alphonsal for offences under the Section 498A (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code. During the trial, special public prosecutor Lekha said there was sufficient evidence to prove that the deceased was continuously harassed by the accused.

Mahila Court Judge M. Rajalakshmi said the prosecution had proved charges against Mario Anto Bruno and his mother Alphonsal. It is also proved that the act of both only abetted the deceased to commit suicide. John Bricks Mascarenhas was acquitted since the charges against him were not proven. The court also imposed a total fine of ₹60,000 on the duo.

(Those in need of counselling may contact State’s health helpline 104 or Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050 for counselling.)

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