Cruelty in the form of torture or harassment of a woman, with the objective of forcing her to meet a demand for property or valuable security is defined as dowry crime. However, on Monday, in one rare incident, a metropolitan magistrate in Jodhpur gave the order directing the police to file a case against the father of a bride for giving dowry to the in-laws.
- Manisha got married to a software engineer, Kailash, in 2017
- A case was filed by Ramlal, father of the bride, alleging that his daughter’s in-laws harassed her in the name of dowry and did not let her live with her husband, who works in Noida
- Ramlal, a former serviceman, insisted during the arguments that in 2017, he had given adequate dowry and an envelope of cash worth Rs 1 lakh during the marriage of his daughter
- According to the girl’s father, when he took his daughter to Noida, Kailash did not accept her and pushed them away
- He also alleged that her father-in-law nurtured ill-intentions for his daughter
- The father-in-law, Jethmal who is a government teacher, denied the allegations, according to the defence counsel Brajesh Pareek
The defence counsel said:
We argued that if taking dowry was a crime, giving dowry was also a crime and appealed to the court to direct the police to file a case against Ramlal also for giving dowry.
- Admitting the appeal, Magistrate Richa Choudhary gave directions to the police to file a case against the bride’s father for giving dowry
- Further hearing in the case will continue
- Pareek said this was for the first time Section 3 of the Hindu Marriage Act had been exercised in a dowry case and directions issued to file a case against the person who gave the dowry
- Police completed the investigation in the matter and filed charge sheet in the court, where the arguments have been in progress
This case should be a good precedent for all family members of the girl who give cash, jewelry and other assets in the name of “GIFTS” at the time of marriage, however, allege the same givings as “DOWRY” in case there is a rift between the couple and their married life.
In any case, a boy’s family is absolutely not justified in demanding anything tangible from the girl during marriage, however, the onus of not giving into their demands at the time of wedding should equally rest with the girl’s family as well. Any dowry given at the time of marriage should not become a case for filing divorce, because both parties have been identically involved in the crime.