Court Convicts Vismaya Nair’s Spouse In Kerala Dowry Death Case

Vismaya, a 22-year-old degree student from Kollam, was found dead last year at her husband’s home, hours after she shared pictures of her injuries.

“When I opened the door, he pulled my hair, hit me, and abused me,” this message from 22-year-old Vismaya Nair to her friend in June 2021 had sent shock waves in Kerala after she was found dead a few days later. On May 23, 2022, less than a year after Vismaya’s death, her husband Kiran Kumar has been convicted of her death. The Kollam Additional Sessions Court Judge Sujith KN has held Kiran guilty under Sections 306 (abetment of suicide), 498A (cruelty by husband or a relative), and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC. His bail which was granted by the Supreme Court has also been canceled by the court, and so Kiran now faces arrest for Vismaya’s death.

Vismaya V Nair, who was doing a Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicines, was found dead at her marital home in Kollam on June 21, 2021. She was 22 years old and hailed from Nilamel, near Kadakkal of Kollam district. Her death came two days after she sent messages to her cousin telling him that her husband had brutally beaten her many times over a car that was given as part of her dowry. The trial had been going on for about four months and the verdict has come around 11 months after Vismaya’s death.

Just a day before the verdict, a chilling voice recording surfaced, purportedly that of Vismaya and her father. In the audio, the voice reportedly that of Vismaya is heard crying and complaining about the harassment faced at the hands of Kiran. “If I’m made to live here, you will not see me again,” the audio says. “I will do something, I cannot bear it anymore. Acha (dad), I want to come back. I’m scared, I will be beaten,” Vismaya is heard saying, in tears. Though her father consoles her, she keeps on crying and says that she is in fear.

In 2021, days before her death, Vismaya had sent her cousin some WhatsApp messages where she had narrated that she has faced severe assault. She wrote about how after assaulting her, her husband allegedly pulled back her hair and stamped it on her face. She says in the message that she has not told anyone about the assault. The photos she shared with her cousin show injuries on her face, shoulder, and hands. This was also one of the primary pieces of evidence submitted to the court during the trial.

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After her death, Vismaya’s father had then told the police that the family had given 100 sovereigns, one acre of land, and a Toyota Yaris car as dowry, but he wanted a different car model and more cash. Her father Thrivrikaman Nair had told TNM after her death that the family knew Kiran assaulted Vismaya earlier too.

During the trial, 42 witnesses, 102 documents, and several call records were examined in the court. The prosecution argued that Kiran had harassed Vismaya, demanding more dowry as he believed he deserved more since he was a government servant. According to the police, he was not happy with the car that Vismaya’s family had given him and wanted a different model. The police had found photos of Vismaya with injuries after Kiran assaulted her and also used voice clips and phone recordings as evidence.

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