Misuse of Anti-Dowry Law – Court Issues non-bailable Warrant to Women

Mangalore: In an interesting development, JMFC Court has issued Non-bailable arrest warrant against Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy, a woman doctor of Davangere and her father for having submitted police complaint of dowry charges against her husband and in-laws.

Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy of Davanagere was married to Dr Gurukanth Rao, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at KMC, Manipal. After the marriage Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy resided with her husband only for 15 days and started insisting that he should come and reside in her parental house in Davanagere.

When he refused she abandoned him demanding divorce and one crore rupees and threatened to lodge false dowry case if money was not paid. Without informing the husband, she started working as Assistant Professor in Father Muller’s Hospital, Kankanady, Mangalore. On coming to know that she was in Mangalore, her husband Dr Gurukanth Rao met her in Father Muller’s Hospital, Kankanady, Mangalore and requested her to join him back but she demanded divorce and one crore compensation.

When he did not agree for the highhanded demands, she went to Pandeshwar Police Station, Mangalore and lodged a false criminal case alleging that her husband and her father in law Dr N R Rao demanded dowry, physically and mentally tortured her and threw her out of the house. During the enquiry Ranjeetha’s parents Rathnakar Shenoy and Jamuna Rani Shenoy also gave false statements to the police that there was dowry demand and harassment. The police summoned Dr Gurukanth and his parents and held a detailed enquiry by questioning the relatives and neighbours. It was revealed that there was no dowry at all in the marriage and all the marriage expenses were borne by the husband. Allegations of cruelty, beating etc were found to be false. Police concluded that it was a false complaint and hence closed the case.

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Father-in-law Dr N R Rao is a well known Senior Physician of Manipal and his family was deeply hurt and defamed on account of this false complaint that was lodged with the sole intention of extorting money from him and his son. Dr N R Rao approached the JMFC Court, Mangalore, through noted Lawyer P P Hegde, praying the Court to punish his daughter-in-law Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy and her parents for filing false complaint of dowry and harassment. After enquiry, JMFC Court found that there are prima facie materials showing that Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy and her parents lodged a false complaint of dowry, harassment etc to the police and abused the anti-dowry laws and thereby committed perjury and defamation. The JMFC Court upheld the arguments of Complainant’s Advocate P P Hegde and passed the land mark judgment ordering to register criminal case (as per C.C.No.1214/14) against Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy and her parents Rathnakar Shenoy and Jamuna Rani Shenoy for the criminal offence of perjury and defamation. The charges carry maximum of two years prison sentence.

In the meanwhile, Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy has left Father Muller’s Hospital, Kankanady, Mangalore and presently she is absconding and she failed to appear to the Court inspite of summons. Hence JMFC Court has issued non-bailable warrant for the arrest of Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy and her father Rathnakar Shenoy (a businessman of Davanagere) and directed Mangalore Barke Police to arrest and produce them before the Court. The Mangalore Police have raided the house of Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy at Davangere yesterday but Dr Ranjeetha Shenoy and her father Rathnakar Shenoy were absconding. The Mangalore Police team is in Davanagere to arrest them.

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This order of issuance of non bailable arrest warrant to the wife who lodged false dowry complaint to the police against innocent husband and in-laws will go a long way in stopping the misuse of law by disgruntled wives to extort money by lodging false charges of dowry.

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