On the directions of an Uttar Pradesh court, the police have booked the state Sports Minister Ayodhya Prasad Pal and his six family members under the Dowry Act, an official said on Thursday.
A chief judicial magistrate (CJM) court in Chitrakoot district, some 280 km from Lucknow, on Wednesday ordered the police to lodge an FIR against the minister and his family for seeking Rs 5 million as dowry.
"The case against the minister and six others under the Dowry Act was registered late Wednesday at the Karvi police station," police inspector CD Gaur told reporters on Thursday in Chitrakoot.
"As directed by the court, a team has been constituted to probe the case in which a doctor Prabal Pratap has alleged that the minister called off his son's marriage to his daughter because he could not get adequate dowry," he added.
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.
"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," said Pratap.
According to Pratap, the engagement ceremony took place October 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.