Dowry Prohibition Act Protects Dowry Giver: Allahabad HC
Allahabad high court was approached by the petitioners in the instant case by filing a plea under section 482 CrPC to only quash the charge sheet which was dated 25.03.2017 and the summoning order which was passed by the additional chief judicial magistrate dated 19.05.2017.
There were three petitioners in that the no- 3 petitioners were supposed to marry the daughter of the petitioner no- 2 OPs daughter and petitioner no-2 was the father of the girl whom he was wanted to get married. And after the marriage has been finalized then after that the petitioner no. 3 started asking for the dowry from petitioner no-2 in various forms.
But at that time the father of the daughter obliged but some days before the marriage the petitioner no- 3 has started asking for the additional dowry and also threatened that if he will not get then they won’t marry. And then the father of the daughter again given the 3 lacs but the marriage never took place even after giving the dowry. After that, a complaint was filed, and when the IO submitted the charge sheet, the Court took cognizance and summoned the petitioners.
It was argued by the petitioner’s counsel before the court that as per section 3 of the act, giving dowry is also punishable so the father of the daughter is also punishable. And then further it was argued that as the marriage was not solemnized, then it cannot be said that the offense was committed.
It was opposed by the Learned AGA the petitioner’s submissions and contended the Dowry Prohibition Act because this act not only protects the women but also protects the families from the menace of demand of dowry. Therefore, they said that its injustice to punish the complainant against the dowry and it is also against the intention of the legislature. When the father of the daughter had a complaint regarding the dowry then he won't gey be punished because he was the complainant and if anyhow, he will get punished then that is against the intention of the legislature. Then further he submitted that any form of property or the valuable security given or agreed to be given before the marriage or after the marriage then would come under the definition of dowry.
The Delhi high court held in the case of Pooja Saxena vs State &Anr, that as per section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act if anyone giving or abetting to give the dowry then that is a punishable offense. so, as per the court, the petitioner's contention which was regarding section 3 had no force. And under section 7(3) of the act still, the petitioner has the protection. Section 7(3) provides that a statement made by the person aggrieved by the offense under an Act shall not subject him to prosecution under the said Act.
Further, it was opined that as per section 4r/w sub-section (2) of the dowry prohibition act. So, in that act, it also covers the demand of the dowry even at the negotiation stage as the consideration in a proposed marriage that has not taken place. Then the reliance was placed on the case of S Gopal vs State of Andhra Pradesh in this regard like the dowry cases.
The bench had ruled in the light of the above observations mentioned that there were no valid grounds to quash the summoning order and also the charge sheet which was filed.