Demanding money to meet domestic expenses not dowry, rules court

The court was deciding a case wherein a woman had alleged that his husband and his family members had demanded Rs 5 lakh for meeting domestic expenses and purchasing manure.  

By: PTI | Mumbai | Published:June 13, 2017 1:08 am

A court in suburban Borivili has acquitted a man and his family members from dowry and cruelty charges ruling that a demand for money to meet domestic expenses cannot be termed as dowry. The court was deciding a case wherein a woman had alleged that his husband and his family members had demanded Rs 5 lakh for meeting domestic expenses and purchasing manure.

However, the court while acquitting all the accused observed that even if they had demanded money then it doesn’t show that they did it by subjecting the woman to cruelty. The court also observed that there was a delay of two years in filing of the case from the time when she was first subjected to cruelty, which the woman did not explain.

The court also held that under Dowry Prohibition Act, dowry meant any property or valuable security that should be given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly, at or before or any time after the marriage and in connection with the marriage.

However, in this case the prosecution failed to prove that there was any demand of dowry. The woman had lodged a complaint with the police on March 24, 2015 against her husband and in-laws. According to the woman, she got married on May 5, 2011 and began to live with her in-laws. She said she was treated well for a month after the marriage.

However, soon after that her husband and in-laws started demanding electronic items besides Rs 5 lakh despite having given cash and ornaments during marriage. According to her complaint, she later gave Rs 50,000 to her husband but in October 2012 she was abused for dowry and she returned to her parents house in March 2013. Soon she was taken back by her husband after an assurance that she will be treated well but in June that year she was allegedly thrown out of the house for not meeting the money demands. The defence lawyers too questioned the delay in filing FIR and said that she should have gone to cops as soon she was thrown out.

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