Can dowry case be filed after 7 years of marriage?

Arguing my own cases..

Read somewhere that there was SC ruling that dowry case after seven years of marriage is not applicable. Wife is threatening to file 498a after eight years. Any thoughts? Thanks..



practicing advocate

It is right after 7 years wife cannot file dowry case.  I have not gone thru., any judgements.  It is very crystal clear that wife lead a life with the husband all the 7 years, now how come she files dowry case.  It is arguable point.  It can be argued very nicely.

If husband had harrassed his wife for dowry she could have filed a complaint immeidately, why she has to wait for 7 years.

Arguing my own cases..

Thanks @ rajeev and utpala. Wife has filed DV after seven years. In it are allegations of dowry harassment. She then has filed CAW complaint after eight years and is threatening 498a. Can she now file any dowry harassment case like 498a? Is 498a specific to dowry harassment?
Legal Evangelist - TRIPAKSHA

There is a diffirence between 304B, which states about Dowry Death and 498-a which is for dowry harassment.


304B can be filed only if there is a death. Which is applicable within seven years.

498-a can be filed at any time during the subsistance of a vaild marriage.

Same is the case with DV




Shonee Kapoor

Total likes : 2 times

Arguing my own cases..

Thanks for the clarity @ shonee. Btw is dowry not the stuff given at time of or just after marriage? Can any harassment of money after marriage be termed as dowry? Not that I have asked for money after marriage even but that is her allegation.

i agree with shonee kappor that 498 a case can be filed at any time . the relevance of 7 year period is if wife dies within 7 years of marraige it is assumed that it was a dowry death and burden of proof is on husband to prove his innocence


The Supreme Court has ruled that demand for money and presents from parents of a married girl at the time of birth of her child or for other ceremonies, as is prevalent in society, may be deprecable but cannot be categorised as dowry to make it a punishable offence.

This means, if a daughter-in-law is being harassed for customary gifts by parents-in-law, then they could be booked under ordinary penal provisions but not under the tough anti-dowry laws providing stringent punishments.

Acquitting the parents-in-law of a woman who had accused them of harassing her for dowry, a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and S Sathasivam took help of a 2001 judgment of SC to say that not all demands from the parents-in-law could be categorised as 'dowry' under the Dowry Prohibition Act. It said though the Act covers payment of money or articles during, before or after marriage by the girl's parent to her in-laws, the cash and presents given had to have a link with the marriage to become objectionable in law.

"Other payments which are customary payments, for example given at the time of birth of a child or other ceremonies as are prevalent in different societies, are not covered by the expression 'dowry'," said Justice Pasayat, writing the judgment for the Bench.

A Haryana trial court had continued the dowry harassment charges against the woman's husband while acquitting the parents-in-law, the married sister and brother of the husband. Though the high court allowed quashing of charges against the sister and brother, it said the parents-in-law were liable to be proceeded against.

The apex court said that when the trial court had held that an attempt had been made by the woman to rope in as many relatives of her husband as possible, the HC should have given some reasons while reversing a well-reasoned order.

It said judicial discipline demanded the HCs to give clear reasons when reversing a trial court order backed by facts. "Reasons substitute subjectivity by objectivity. The emphasis on recording reasons is that if the decision reveals the 'inscrutible face of the sphinx', it can, by its silence, render it virtually impossible for the courts to perform their appellate function or exercise the power of judicial review in adjudicating the validity of the decision," the Bench said.



Shonee sir had said correctly dear mirage. I am facing the 498/a dowry harassment charges after 15 yrs. of marriage. Recently 498/a FIR is lodged againest Mafatlal family after 22 yrs of marriage so there is no time limit for 498/a.

Arguing my own cases..

I just got a wrist watch and six shirts from Wifes parents as seven birthday presents in seven years. That too I never asked for that. Also eight years back they spent two lacs on wedding. Again I did not ask them. Does that constitute dowry in any way?

no,dowry act itself reveals time limit 7years for filing case




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