Been in connection with the marriage of the parties

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been in connection with the marriage of the parties. There can be many other instances for payment of money or giving property as between the spouses. For example, some customary payments in connection with birth of a child or other ceremonies are prevalent in different societies. Such payments are not enveloped within the ambit of dowry. The definition of “dowry”, in the DPA, must be amended to include a specific prohibition of exchanges made both at the time of and any time after the marriage. Emphasis needs to be placed on the existence of “ demand” even if the gifts may be “Customary” in nature. Hence the term “in connection with marriages” should be deleted. Recently the supreme court of India in criminal appeal no. 1613 of 2005 Decided on: 05.01.2007, in the matter of Appasaheb and anr. Vs. state of Maharashtra held that “Demand for money on account of some financial stringency or for meeting some urgent domestic expenses cannot be termed as a demand for dowry as the said word is normally understood. dowry means any property or valuable security to 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 of the said parties hence a correlation between the giving or taking of property or valuable security with the marriage of the parties is essential” in the case , a demand for money on account of some financial stringency or for meeting some urgent domestic expenses or for purchasing manure could not be termed as a demand for dowry The evidence adduced by the prosecution did not, therefore, show that any demand for “dowry as defined in Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act was made by the appellants as what was allegedly asked for was some money for meeting domestic expenses and for purchasing manure. Since an essential ingredient of section 304B IPC viz. demand for DOWRY is not established, the conviction of the appellants Could not be sustained. The case reinforces the need for amendment as proposed above iv. Clarification of the term “indirectly” The meaning of the term “indirectly” used in Section 2 remains unclear. Does the term “indirectly” apply in cases where the in- laws do not demand for it but create an environment wherein the bride is compelled 6 26(1984) DLT 480
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114 ANNUAL REPORT 2008-09 to bring lavish gifts for her in laws? Does this term include situations where the bride is not coerced but there is an expectation from the in-laws to bring certain gifts? Would demands for more “customary gifts” also fall under the act of “Demanding Dowry”? Leaving this term undefined places the burden of proving that dowry was demanded, in an indirect manner, on dowry victims and their families. There have been inconsistencies in the manner in which this term has been interpreted by various courts.
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  • Fall '19
  • DPA, Stridhan

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