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seeking wife’s share in family property is not dowry: sc

ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

Dear All,
The following is for General Information and future case reference.
Appeared in  "Times of India", Mumbai edition, dated 05 August'2008, page no. 11.

The technical question is  :  "Now CAN the husband demand for  "legal"  dowry in the guise of  "seeking wife's share in family's ancestral property (whether movable or immovable)".

My personal opinion/understanding is  "YES ... now the husbands can color-code the  "dowry"  word to "share in her ancestral property" to demand  "legal" dowry (that is movable or immovable property).  In fact now the husbands can legally give legal notice asking for share in the wife's ancestral property.

Comments, please...

If appropriate case law reference is available with anybody, please mentioned it here with details.

Keep Smiling ... Hemant Agarwal

Seeking wife’s share in family property is not dowry: SC

New Delhi: In a legal regime which takes a very strong view of dowry deaths, there appears to be a small respite for husbands. For, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that asking for the wife’s share in ancestral property from in-laws would not come under the definition of “dowry”.

This judgment could become a small but significant breather for husbands, on whom the courts virtually impose the onus of coming clean of dowry death charges if their wives die an unnatural death within seven years of marriage and there had been past allegations of harassment.

“Demanding her share in the ancestral property will not amount to a dowry demand,” said a bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and Harjit Singh Bedi.


ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

Dear All,
Further to above :

This will apply to the cases where marriage has taken place after 1994 because the daughter married after the amendment of the Hindu Succession Act are eligible for ancestral property inthe State of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and A.P.


My question is that the said husband need any consent from his wife or he can directly file a suit for share in the property, though his wife is not willing for share in the said property.


Dowry harrasment and share in the ancestral property cannot be linked.  Share in the property is always there for the lady and on her death to her husband as the next beneficiary and legal heir.  

The meaning is clear show LOVE and demand money along with your wife it is legal.  Show love and demand money on your own on the ancestral property of the wife.  Love and support from wife on demanding money is not dowry.  It is a legitimate demand. 

It is just my humble view.



Dear All,

One of my friends wife prior to her marriage, worked hard and supported to develop their ancestral property. She purchased a flat onto the name of her parents. At the same time her fiancy  too supported her financially. Now after marriage if her fiancy demand to share his wife's ancestral property, does it counts into dowry ?


Dear Santosh,

         As our brother advocates have informed us clarifying the position that the asking the share in ancestral property of the spouse does not amount to dowry. But in your case unless the husband establishes that it is an ancestral property of his spouse he cannot succeed in his attempts as from your version it seems the wife has purchased a flat to her parents with her self earnings.


ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

Refreshing for academic reasons ....


Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal




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