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Aftab4u (PVT EMPLOYEE)     28 November 2009

Engagements offerings are not dowry !!


Engagement offerings are not dowry: HC
Thu, Nov 12 03:55 PM
Nagpur, Nov. 12 -- In a landmark judgement, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ruled that gifts given by bride's family during engagement function before marriage would not form part of dowry. Responding to a petition filed before the bench, the Court quashed a police complaint and charge sheet against the petitioners Sunanda Kolkotwar and Bhushan Kolkotwar to punish them for cancelling the marriage and to get back the offerings handed over to them during an engagement. The complaint was filed by the father of the bride-to-be. It was said that Pankaj Kolkotwar was engaged to a girl of Bramhapuri in neighbouring Chandrapur district on May 22, 2006 at a formal ceremony. During the ceremony, the bride's family had offered petitioners saree and other gifts as per their traditional customs and rituals. After five months' of the engagement, Bhushan, brother of Pankaj, went to Bramhapuri and asked them for a dowry of Rs 4-lakh. He also warned them that if they did not fulfill the dowry demand, the marriage would be cancelled. As the bride's family was not able to arrange the money, the marriage was cancelled. However, they lodged complaints with the local Sakkardara police against the members of groom's family. They prevailed upon the police to register offences under the Dowry Prohibition Act and urged the police to get all the gifts made by them returned.
Quashing the cases registered by the police against Kolkotwar family, Justice SS Shinde in his verdict said that if it was customary nature, the traditional giving of presents in engagement functions, they would not attract punishable provisions of Dowry Prohibition Act.


 5 Replies


I am sorry I don't agree with the verdict of Hon'ble Bombay High Court. When bride's family  presented in the form of money to bride groom's family in Engagements isn't it dowary?

A V Vishal (Advocate)     29 November 2009

Any property given by parents of the bride need to be in consideration of the marriage, it can even be in connection with the marriage and would constitute dowry; Rajeev v. Ram Kishan Jaiswal, 1994 Cri L.J. NOC 255 (All).

1 Like

Hardik Mehta (Family Counsellor)     30 November 2009

I disagree with Sathya Prakash & VIshal. If you read carefully, it clearly states that this are the customary gifts, which does not constitute dowry. This is the settled law. There is no mention of the cash or property given to the bride in connection of the marriage.

Moreover, the money or the property or any such high value items like car given out of love from the brides family to the bride at the time of the marriage does not constitute to the dowry if there is no demand of any sort. Otherwise the jewellaries given to the groom and their parents / siblings would definately constitute to the dowry, and all the males and their families would be behind bars for taking the dowry when not asked for or is given out of love from the girls family.


Here if we carefully  look into the case, there was a demand for 4 Lakh rupees,  for non payment of 4 lakh rupees the marriage was cancelled, The greed for dowry is clearly visible on the very face, Therefore I agree with P.Satya Prakash and A.V.VISHAL, they have submitted rightly.

Hardik Mehta (Family Counsellor)     02 December 2009


My comments were wrt the comments made by P Satya Prakash and A Vishal. I agree that there was the demand, but that was their statement. I know 4 cases similar where the engagement of the girl has been broken due to non-compatibility and unreasonable demands of the girls, and later have filed cases for asking dowry when the engagement was broken from boys side. They are fighting the cases. So this does not tell the other side of the story.

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