Allahabad HC Acquits Husband in Dowry & Harassment Case:

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May 25, 2024

Allahabad HC Acquits Husband in Dowry & Harassment Case:

Why in News ?  The Allahabad High Court has acquitted and quashed the conviction and sentence of a husband in a case under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act (DP Act) and IPC Sections 498A, 307, 323 and 34  IPC based on lack of credibility in the testimony of wife.

The Court also held that the trial court should not qualitatively select the part of the testimony which suits their judicial conscious and should decide a case with an open mind, not a preconceived notion.

About the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961:

The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is a key piece of legislation in India that aims to eliminate the social evil of dowry.

Main Provisions:

Prohibits Giving and Taking Dowry: The Act makes it illegal to give, take, or abet the giving or taking of dowry. Dowry is defined as any property or valuable things given to the bride or bridegroom, or their relatives, in connection with the marriage.

Penalty for Dowry:

Section 3: Imprisonment for a term not less than 5 years and a fine of at least Rs 15,000 or the amount of the dowry value, whichever is more.

Section 4: Imprisonment for a term between 6 months and 2 years with a fine of up to Rs 10,000 for demanding dowry.

Dowry Harassment: The Act doesn’t directly address harassment related to dowry demands. However, other laws like Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) can be used to punish cruelty by the husband or his relatives for demands of dowry.

Dowry Death: If the woman dies due to harassment for dowry or under suspicious circumstances, it is presumed to be a “dowry death” under Section 304B of the IPC. This attracts a stricter punishment of imprisonment for a term not less than 7 years which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Procedural Aspects: Dowry related offences are cognizable (police can arrest without warrant) and non-bailable. Magistrates of a first class or above can try these cases.

Important Sections:

Section 2: Defines “dowry”.

Section 3: Penalty for giving or taking dowry.

Section 4: Penalty for demanding dowry.

Section 6: Dowry agreement to be void.

Section 7: Proof of dowry demanding. (Burden of proof shifts to the accused to prove they are innocent)

Section 8: Protection of witnesses.


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Allahabad HC Acquits Husband in Dowry & Harassment Case: | Vaid ICS Institute