An Uttar Pradesh court on Wednesday directed the police to book state Sports Minister Ayodhya Prasad Pal and his family members for allegedly calling off his son's marriage because the bride-to-be woman's family failed to meet a Rs.5 million dowry demand.
The directions came from the chief judicial magistrate's court in Chitrakoot district on an application of Dr Prabal Pratap, who alleged that the minister had demanded a dowry of Rs.5 million for getting his son Om Dutt married to his daughter.
"My daughter got engaged to the minister's son in October 2008, but the minister called off the marriage as I was unable to pay the Rs.5 million dowry he demanded," Pratap told reporters Wednesday in Chitrakoot, some 280 km from Lucknow.
Failing to get help from police in Chitrakoot, the doctor moved the court, seeking that an FIR be registered against the minister and his family members.
In its order, the court has directed the police to lodge an FIR against Ayodhya Prasad Pal, his son Om Dutt, brother Raj Kumar Pal, two daughters, the minister's wife and his brother's wife.
District police chief Aparna H.S. told reporters: ""As soon as I receive a copy of the court's order, I will direct the police to lodge an FIR in the case and take necessary action as per the directives of the court."
According to Pratap, the engagement ceremony took place Oct 7, 2008, at a tourist bungalow in Karvi town in Chitrakoot. Since then, the minister has been delaying the marriage and is now demanding dowry.
"He (minister) now says the only way to get my daughter married to his son is to give Rs.50 lakh (Rs.5 million). The minister has even openly challenged me to get a case registered against him for demanding dowry," Pratap told reporters.
"I have also learnt that the minister has now arranged his son's marriage to the daughter of an engineer in the irrigation department in Allahabad," he added.
According to Pratap, he had submitted necessary evidence to prove he had spent over Rs.500,000 on gifts that were given to Pal's family on the occasion of the engagement ceremony.