Man fights dowry case by woman he claims he never married

Thane resident presses for discharge from case; provides evidence his alleged “wife” married another man recently while claiming to be a spinster

A marriage has been likened to a battlefield by pessimists, but few can detail the trauma it can bring when the “marriage” itself had, apparently, not even taken place.
For the last two years, Thane resident Abhishek Tiwari, 33, has been fighting for discharge from a case of dowry harassment and bigamy filed by his alleged “wife”, whom he claims he never married. Now, on learning that she recently married another man by declaring her marital status as “spinster”, Tiwari has added the fresh evidence to further press for his discharge.
In April 2005, the Samata Nagar police, on a complaint filed by one Aarti Srivastava, arrested Tiwari and his parents for dowry harassment, cruelty, criminal breach of trust and bigamy.
In her FIR, Srivastava, 31, claimed that she married Tiwari on April 4, 2004, according to Hindu vedic rights.
Their relationship ran into rough weather due to Tiwari and his parents allegedly demanding money from her and torturing her mentally. Srivastava claimed Tiwari took a lot of money in dowry and later allegedly married a second time.
For Tiwari, who along with his father spent 10 days in prison before getting bail, his discharge plea has been getting adjourned since April 2007. In his discharge plea before the Borivali metropolitan court, Tiwari claimed that Srivastava lodged the FIR with mala fide intention of damaging his reputation. He cited references to emails exchanged between him, Srivastava, and friends, to show he had never married her.
To substantiate his stand in court, Tiwari provided copies of Srivastava”s two passports, a tatkal passport issued in April 2004 and another issued in June 2006. Tiwari”s lawyer Junaid Shabwany argued that in both passports, Srivastava has left the “Name of spouse” column empty.
Shabwany contended, In the passport application form of March 14, 2006, Srivastava has not mentioned her spouse”s name, clearly showing that she never married him and hence the alleged offences don”t stand. Strangely, the same police station which registered Srivastava”s complaint against the Tiwaris, later verified her as single for her passport.
On learning that Srivastava had married somebody else in a Marol church this April, Shabwany recently filed another plea before the court, attaching her marriage certificate.
Even in this certificate, she has mentioned her marital status at the time of marriage, as spinster, thereby clarifying that she never married Tiwari, said Shabwany, adding that her Orkut and Facebook accounts have photographs of this marriage.
Last week, the prosecution sought time to trace Srivastava and present her in court to answer the allegations on Wednesday, the next hearing date. While refusing to elaborate, Public Prosecutor Neeta Pasarkar who is handling Srivastava”s case, only said, The court will decide on the documents and arguments advanced by the defence.

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