The Delhi High Court on Thursday ruled that a husband cannot lodge an FIR against his wife and her family for giving dowry, solely on the basis of her statement, in a complaint of dowry harassment.
The court said that before initiating proceedings against a woman and her kin under the Dowry Prohibition Act, it should be checked if they were “victims of circumstance”.
This significant ruling spells relief for a large number of women facing similar proceedings.
In most instances, the case against the wife is lodged as a counter-case by her husband booked for dowry harassment.
Quashing an FIR against one Pooja Saxena and her family, justice Ajit Bharihoke said if the dowry was given when confronted with a threatening situation (created by the bridegroom’s family), such proceedings cannot be initiated against the wife.
Saxena informed the court that she told the police (while lodging a dowry harassment case against her husband) that her parents gave sufficient dowry to her husband at the time of marriage and even during their engagement. However, the latter and his family wanted more.
She challenged the FIR against her under the Dowry Prohibition Act by order of a Magistrate, on the basis of a complaint by her husband.