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mental harassment for dowry

(Querist) 09 January 2009 This query is : Resolved 
Can an unvisible mental harassment by inlaws and husband to a newly wedded girl for dowry be complained for redressal and punishement to the offenders. What is the procedure and how long it takes to settle the issue. Whether the inlaws against whom the compalaint is lodged can sue the complainant if they are not found guildy due to insufficient evidence or due to their resourcefulness.
G. ARAVINTHAN (Expert) 09 January 2009
Invisible Mental Harassment.. Can you give an example?
PALNITKAR V.V. (Expert) 09 January 2009
I presume that you mean to say that the girl is mentally harassed by the inlaws. Sec 498A of IPC lays down that if the mental harassment is of such a nature as drive a woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand, then the inlaws can be prosecuted. Domestic Violence Act will also apply depending upon the facts and circumstances. It is difficult to say how much time it will take to settle the issues because it depends on so many circumstances.
About the second limb of your query, merely because an accused is acquitted, he can not get damages. It has to be proved that the prosecution was malicious.
Guest (Expert) 10 January 2009
Mr. Palnitkar so beautifully and precisely answered to your question.

The dilema is not how to proceed in these matters but whether to proceed in these matters or not. On one hand daughter/sister's matrimonial life is at stake and on the other hand, we know she is facing extreme mental hardship in the hands of the husband and his family members for the dowry or for any other purpose.
Once you come to a decision, you have no alternative but to file a complaint, then the following steps required to be taken:
1. Prepare a detailed complaint giving full description of cruelty (physical / mental) along with dates of event and also names of the persons (favourable to you) present in those situations (they will become eye witnesses for you in criminal proceedings).
2. File it in the area Police Station, where this thing happened.
3. File another copy original addressed to the "crime against the women cell" of the area.
4. Generally, the complaint of police station also will be forwarded by the P.S. to the CAW.
5. Mediation will take place so that harmonious relations will prevail between husband and wife.
6. If mediation fails, you ask that your complaint be treated as FIR and proceed under Section 498-A of IPC.
7. Similarly, if not more effective, provisions are there in "Protection of women from domestic violence Act", which would suit your needs. In this interim maintenace provision and similar beneficial provisions are also there.

Prabhakar (M)9958670740

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