Streedhan covers all the articles (movable and immovable property) that your parents, relatives and friends give you when you get married.
It is property and gifts that ensure that you are not left wanting anything after your wedding.
However, sometimes your husband and in-laws, whether forcefully or not, could try to take that Streedhan from you. Here's how you can protect what is rightfully yours.
Remember that Streedhan is covered under the Hindu Marriage Act.
Protecting Your Assets
Family court advocate Siddhartha Shah says, "If you feel like your Streedhan is in danger from your in-laws then you needn't worry because there are a few laws and legislations that will help protect your Streedhan."
In fact if anyone besides the bride takes the Streedhan, then they are supposed to give those gifts back within a specific time-frame.
The time-frame to return the gifts is usually three months after the wedding.
Remember, any movable or immovable property qualifies as Streedhan. This could be a house, car, jewellery, household items like furniture, ACs, refrigerators, phones and anything that your family gives you.
In case your in-laws do not return the Streedhan or tell you that it is part of your dowry and you have no right to the property anymore, then here are laws that will help protect your property.
Section 498 A of the Indian Penal Code covers the following:
Cruelty that includes mental and physical torture.
Mental cruelty - this could include your in-laws insulting you every time you asked for your Streedhan.
If they torture or threaten you or your relatives into giving them more property.
If you are beaten and caused bodily harm, or if you are driven to suicide because of their behaviour.
Apart from the laws, here are a few things that you can do to ensure that you protect your Streedhan:
If your father gives you immovable gifts like land or a home, then make sure that it is booked and bought in your name only. No matter how much your husband
and in-laws may pressurise you to transfer it or add your husband's name, make sure it stays in your name.
This way you are protecting your home and property and you know you can fall back on that if need be.
If you are given jewellery as gifts, make sure to put that in a bank locker that you own. If you are keeping it in your marital home, then keep it in your cupboard under lock and key.
If you are given a car then make sure that whoever is buying it for you makes the purchase in your name.
If you are given furniture and household articles then you can use it in your marital home. But make sure that you have a list of all the movable property stating what they are, on a legal document.
This way you have proof to fall back on if the need ever arises.
I do agree that streedhan is the property of the wife and she has got every right to protect it under her custody and use it. I accept every tip you gave, except using Section 498-A. For recoverig the Streedhan, if a woman invokes S.498-A, it is mis-use of that section and that is why courts are continuously warning the estranged wife not to invoke S.498- A until the ingredients laid down there are not there. Section 498-A is a sacrosanct provision to protect the wife to lead normal life in matrimonial home in the new and alien and some times hostile atmosphere. If wife's stree dhan is usurped by the inlaws, there are other provisions, like section 406 I.P.C. S.498-A is meant to protect the wives from physical and mental harassment for any reason including the reason of dowry demand. It does not say, that refusal of returning streedhan by husband or his relatives give scope to a wife to invoke S.498-A. Even civil law suit for recovery also will come to aid for the wife to recover stree dhan. If invoking Section 498-A is stopped to recover dowry articles and stree dhan and it is used only to protect the wives, who are facing physical and/or mental harassment, then genuine victims will get protection. I repeat for recovery of stree dhan etc. there are other provisions in law, which are equally effective and may not spoil the relationship of husband and wife beyond repair.
hello prabhakar jee
thanx 4 sparing ur valuable time to read this.
ya i agree 498A is not the way to get back streedhan..even i found it too severe an action just to get bak the streedhan.
however this article is not mine;its taken from the link below this article...so i pasted the whole article as it was,without manipulating it.
since u replied at the rite time,i wud request u to further add how a newly wed can recover all her streeedhan if her inlaws/hubby refuse to give her...i am also eager to know as i also faced same problem after my marriage and got only part of my streedhan only after 4 yrs,that thru a settlement signed under duress,courtesy mediator of HC...
A woman’s right to her stridhan is protected under law. S. 14 of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956 R/w S. 27 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 make a female Hindu an absolute owner of such property. In the case of Pratibha Rani Vs. Suraj Kumar, 1985 (2) SCC 370 the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India explained the concept of ‘Stridhan’ and its legal position under the Indian Laws. The Hon'ble Supreme Court of India held that
“a Hindu married woman is the absolute owner of her stridhan property and can deal with it in any manner she likes and, even if it is placed in the custody of her husband or her in-laws they would be deemed to be trustees and bound to return the same if and when demanded by her”.
It is, therefore, manifest that the position of stridhan of a Hindu married woman’s property during coverture is absolutely clear and unambiguous; she is the absolute owner of such property and can deal with it in any manner she likes-she may spend the whole of it or give it away at her own pleasure by gift or will without any reference to her husband. Ordinarily, the husband has no right or interest in it with the sole exception that in times of extreme distress, as in famine, illness or the like, the husband can utilize it but he is morally bound to restore it or its value when he is able to do so. This right is purely personal to the husband and the property so received by him in marriage cannot be proceeded against even in execution of a decree for debt, such being the nature and character of stridhan of a woman.
If her husband or any other member of his family who are in possession of such property, dishonestly misappropriate or refuse to return the same, they may be liable to punishment for the offence of criminal breach of trust under S. 405 & 406 IPC.
Precautions: Women who wish to protect their stridhan rights must take precautionary steps such as;
(a) Make a list of the gifts and/or properties received before, during and after marriage from your family, your husband’s family, friends and other acquaintances.
(b) Keep evidence for the gifts received by you such as wedding pictures. Also, ensure that the gifts and their bills are in your name and preserve these bills.
(c) Have witnesses - statements of witnesses will be important evidence - for gifts of movables (including jewellery) at the time of marriage.
Re.: Anil Kumar Jain vs Maya Jain, 2009 case Re.: Pratibha Rani v. Suraj Kumar, 1985 (2) SCC 370
The above two landmark decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India has been followed by various High Courts of India in the subsequent years, namely, Raginiben Gunvantsinh Tank v. Gunvantlal Keshavlal Tank And Ors. [2003 (3) G.L.R. 2027], Reema Aggarwal v. Anupam [2004 Cri LJ 892] and many others.
Still further reference to get quashed false charges of Stridhan are as below:
Summary: The inherent jurisdiction of High Court could and should be exercised to quash proceedings where either there was no legal evidence adduced in support of the charge or the evidence adduced clearly or manifestly failed to prove the charge.
How to use: Use this judgment to get IPC 406, DP 3/4 cases quashed where there is no legal evidence adduced that indicates that any jewelery (streedhan) was even purchased by the complainant or her relatives, leave alone handing over the same to the accused. If the purchase bills of items are not produced before the court, then these proceedings should not be allowed to be continued.
Re.: R. P. KAPUR Vs. RESPONDENT: THE STATE OF PUNJAB [1960 AIR 862,1960 SCR (3) 311]
pream(love) or precaution(protection) or Both
Domestic Violence 2005
Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 safeguards a woman’s right to her stridhan in cases where she is a victim of domestic violence.I agree with prabhakar he said, For recoverig the Streedhan, if a woman invokes S.498-A, it is mis-use of that section and that is why courts are continuously warning the estranged wife not to invoke S.498. There are other provisions, like section 406 I.P.C, Domestic violence, 2005.
19 . Residence Orders :
(8) The Magistrate may direct the respondent to return to the possession of the aggrieved person her stridhan or any other property or valuable security to which she is entitled to.
Sub-clause (5) empowers Magistrate to pass an order directing the officer in charge of the concerned police station to give protection to the aggrieved person or to assist in implementation of the residence order. It is also provided in this clause that the Magistrate may impose on the respondent an obligation to discharge rent and other payments and to direct the respondent to return to the aggrieved person her stridhan or any other property or valuable security to which she is entitled.
(a) Under section 18:
(i)To stop committing any further acts of domestic violence on you or your children;
(ii)To give you the possession of your stridhan, jewellery, clothes, etc.;
(iii)Not to operate the joint bank accounts or lockers without permission of the Court.
While "economic abuse" includes deprivation of all or any economic or financial resources to which the victim is entitled under any law or custom whether payable under an order of a Court or otherwise or which the victim requires out of necessity including, but not limited to, household necessities for the aggrieved person and her children, if any, stridhan, property, jointly or separately owned by her, payment of rental related to the shared household and maintenance and disposal of household effects, any alienation of assets whether movable or immovable, valuables, shares, securities, bonds and the like or other property in which the victim has an interest or is entitled to use by virtue of the domestic relationship or which may be reasonably required by the victim or her children or her stridhan or any other property jointly or separately held by the victim and prohibition or restriction to continued access to resources or facilities which the victim is entitled to use or enjoy by virtue of the domestic relationship including access to the shared household, "physical abuse" means any act or conduct which is of such a nature as to cause bodily pain, harm or danger to life, limb, or health or impair the health or development of the victim and includes assault, criminal intimidation and criminal force.
criminal breach of trust punishable under Sections 405 and 406 IPC(demanded the stridhan property, but they refused to return the same)
Now Precautions that is Keep evidence for the gifts, Have witnesses, Make a list of the gifts and/or properties received before, during and after marriage from your family but are all women know this ? Perhaps very few. And you know ignorance of law does not excuse in the same way if you have not take precaution then other party would be benefited.
Too often, women lose out on their stridhan as they are unaware of the rights and safeguards bestowed on them by law. Moreover, a woman is often unable to prove that the gifts or property received by her are part of her stridhan in the absence of any written record .
Keep evidence for the gifts received by you such as wedding pictures. Also, ensure that the gifts and their bills are in your name and preserve these bills. ofs to back her claim.
Maintain a separate account in your name for your salary.
Get involved in family finances and keep a record of bank accounts and the investments made out of your stridhan.
Have witnesses — statements of witnesses will be important evidence — for gifts of movables (including jewellery) at the time of marriage.
Open a bank locker in your name for storing jewellery and instruments of money, property and so on.
But why Indian women do not consider those steps(few women will remember) the answer is you all know.
When we married what we consider pream(love) or precaution ? And if women found not love but mental harassment, torture, demanding dowry etc, and you became alert and start precaution. The best way to consider all these steps and love. Is this Possible? For love we heard jo tera wo mera and jo mera wo tera Hum sub ek hai.Dil mil gaye If this event happen in your life you are in paradise if not happen in your life you feel hell, doom.( we all had a life of hell by that basterd) Its all about destiny. Accept reality and live in reality.
Now take a swearI am taking responsablty for it all and i will do everything in my power to make a better future for all of us and not let my past destroy our future! when i set my mind to something i do it, and i do it good. all the things bad that has happened to me and all the bad i have done if i let it all get in top of me i would never move on, so today i have decided i will move on with my life, my kids will get a better up bringing my partner will get a real partner out of me not someone who blames him for things that is wrong in my life
Finally I have to say ,I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greatest part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.