Dowry law is not for personal vendetta: Court
A Delhi court has expressed concern over the misuse of dowry laws as a tool to take revenge while refusing a plea of a woman who wanted action against her husband and in-laws for alleged harassment.
The court also noted that women victims having matrimonial discord generally roped in the whole family as accused just to settle personal scores even though there is no evidence against them. Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau dismissed an appeal against an order acquitting Delhi resident Sanjay Kumar and three members of his family on a dowry harassment complaint filed by his wife in 1999 on the ground that her allegations did not find any independent corroboration.
“I may further observe that Section 498A IPC (husband or relative subjecting a woman to cruelty) in the recent years has become consummate embodiment of gross human rights violation, extortion and corruption and even the apex court of our country had acknowledged this abuse and termed it legal terrorism.
The provisions of Section 498 A IPC are not a law to take revenge, seek recovery of dowry or to force a divorce, but a penal provision to punish the wrong doers,” judge Lau said.
He also said the courts should not be exploited to work for personal vendetta.
“Courts cannot be a party to any kind of exploitative situation and it is necessary for every complainant to remember that it is only an honest complaint which succeeds in law where contents are supported by facts on the ground and persons, who are not connected with the harassment, should never be arrayed as accused. “The platform of the courts cannot be permitted to be used to wreak personal vendetta or unleash harassment and the tendency of the complainants to come out with inflated and exaggerated allegations by roping in each and every relation of the husband is required to be deprecated,” the court said.
Refusing to interfere with an order acquitting Kumar’s family members, the court said even the father and brother of victim Veena did not support her allegations given in an FIR with Jehangirpuri police station in north Delhi.
A metropolitan magistrate in April this year absolved all the accused in the case finding saying no substance in her charges.
In the verdict, the court also gave a piece of advice to Veena, quoting poet Sahir Ludhiyanvi, that she should dissociate herself from sour relations rather than being revengeful. “Not all relationships are successful. In fact, most relationships which appear to succeed are only based upon compromises.
Let go the past which is painful since attaching yourself to it will only give pain and miseries and help none,” the court added