Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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The Supreme Court is so worried about the misuse of the dowry harassment law that it wants the Centre to assess it again.

The court has also said that lawyers should not encourage clients to file false complaints alleging dowry harassment and should ensure “that the social fibre of family life is not ruined”.

The court made the observations while quashing a criminal complaint filed by one Manisha Poddar against her husband Manish and his family. Manisha’s complaint, registered in 2007, said that her in-laws had demanded a luxury car from her parents.

“The reason for filing the complaint was to harass and humiliate the husband’s relatives,” a bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and KS Radhakrishnan said.

In earlier judgments, the apex court had warned the police against encouraging complainants to exaggerate allegations against in-laws. This time, it offered the same advice to lawyers, saying “they [lawyers] must ensure that exaggerated versions of small incidents are not reflected in criminal complaints”.

The court also suggested to the government that the anti-dowry legislation be reviewed since most complaints under the law seem to be filed in the “heat of the moment over trivial issues without properly thinking them out’’. The court made the observations in a judgment given on an appeal by one Preeti Gupta from Surat and Gaurav Poddar from Goregaon, Mumbai.

Gaurav is Manisha’s brother-in-law. Manisha said in her complaint against her husband, Preeti, in-laws Pyarelal and Shushila and brother-in-law Gaurav that they demanded a luxury car from her parents when they visited her parents house to attend a festival in 2007.

But, it was found that Preeti and Gaurav had never visited Manisha’s parents’ home.

Besides, the court didn’t find evidence to show that Manisha had been assaulted. So, the judges said if the couple was unhappy with the marriage they could have filed for divorce.

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