Demanding dowry is punishable, but taunts about giving less gifts is not, says Allahabad HC

Allahabad: Demanding dowry is punishable, but taunts about giving less gifts is not, said Allahabad High Court in a recent judgement.

Shabban Khan (Applicant No. 1) and four others recently filed an appeal at the Police Station to have the criminal charges against them in relation to a dowry harassment case withdrawn. They were all charged with breaking the Dowry Prohibition Act’s Sections 3 and 4 as well as the IPC’s Sections 498A, 323, and 506.

Shabban Khan’s wife (Opposite Party No. 2) filed a lawsuit under the Dowry Act, accusing her husband and in-laws of demanding a car as part of the dowry and harassing her when she did not meet their expectations. She said that when she did not comply with their demand for a car before Eid, her in-laws threatened to throw her out of their house and gave her medicine that made her sick.

The applicants argued that no injury reports were ever filed and that the wife never complained of abuse. It was reported that the wife had leveled broad and vague charges against her brother-in-law, married sister-in-law, and single sister-in-law.

In his observation and decision, Justice Vikram D. Chauhan said that although it is illegal to give dowries, making fun of a woman for bringing fewer gifts to her wedding does not qualify as cruelty under Section 498A of the IPC.

The Court ruled that vague allegations in legal complaints not only hamper the rights and ability of the accused to present a proper defense but also cause significant confusion for the prosecution. As a result, the court dropped the criminal allegations brought against applicants 3, 4, and 5.

Also Read: Bride, Groom Should Maintain Gift-List During Marriage: Allahabad High Court

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