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'Money for home expenses not dowry'

The SC says demand for money by a husband from his in-laws for meeting domestic expenses is not dowry.

india Updated: Jan 08, 2007 03:41 IST

The Supreme Court has held that the demand for money by a husband from his in-laws for meeting domestic expenses will not come under the ambit of dowry, warranting criminal prosecution. "A demand for money on account of some financial stringency or for meeting some urgent domestic expenses or for purchasing manure cannot be termed as a demand for dowry," a bench of Justices GP Mathur and RV Raveendran has ruled.

The judges set aside a verdict of the Bombay High Court that upheld a trial court judgment sentencing a man to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment in a case of dowry death. The man, called Appasaheb, and his mother were convicted under Section 304-B (dowry death) of the IPC after Appasaheb’s wife Bhimabai died after consuming poison.

Quashing the conviction, the bench said the statement of Bhimabai’s mother did not say that the cause for ill-treatment was "a demand for money and a consequent beating". "Accepting the statements...on their face value, the utmost which can be held is that the husband had asked his wife to bring money for meeting domestic expenses and for purchasing manure," it said.