One more defence ploy available to over-ride provisions of the Dowry Act, by the bride's side.
GIVING DOWRY to save marriage not crime : HC
( Times of India, Mumbai Edition, 22nd October, 2010, page no. 18 )
New Delhi: Giving dowry fearing that the proposed marriage may be called off is not an offence, the Delhi high court has held while quashing an FIR against a bride and her family for conceding to the groom’s family’s demands .
Justice Ajit Bharihoke quashed criminal proceedings against the bride and her family after they convinced the court that the dowry was given under pressure, as the bridegroom’s family had threatened to cancel the marriage. “As per the allegations in the complaint made by the petitioner (bride), the demand for dowry was made by the father of respondent (bridegroom) at the time of engagement ceremony when he allegedly asked the father of the girl to concede to his demand for dowry, failing which he would call off the marriage.
“It is obvious that the petitioner and her parents were confronted with the unenviable situation either to concede to the demand or face loss of honour of their family in society, and if under that fear, the petitioner and her parents conceded to the demand for dowry, they cannot be faulted as they were victims of circumstances,” the court said. Granting relief to the bride, the court said, “She cannot be subjected to prosecution for the offence under the Dowry Prohibition Act”. AGENCIES