Dowry law a Bargain tool

IPC 498a filed to blackmail husband to meet her demands, this is another example, as soon as demands met 498a is withdrawn/Quashed.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has quashed a dowry harassment case against an NRI after he reached a settlement with his wife and agreed to take her and their daughter to the US, where he now lives. Hearing a petition filed by Manoj Gawade that he and his wife Seema had settled their differences, a division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Anuja Prabhudessai ordered that the charge-sheet registered against him be dropped.

“The matrimonial dispute between Manoj and Seema was the root cause for registration of the offence. Now, there is a complete settlement of the matrimonial dispute to the satisfaction of the wife,” said the judges. “Therefore, continuation of the criminal proceedings will cause undue harassment to the (couple),” the bench added. The court used its discretionary powers under section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code to quash the criminal case.

Manoj is in the US on an H1-B visa. Seema had lodged an FIR against him and his parents, accusing them of harassing her for dowry, last year. The other offences included criminal breach of trust, forcing her to abort without consent, assault and criminal intimidation. Seema also filed a case before the judicial first class magistrate seeking maintenance for herself and their daughter. The Manmad magistrate appointed a mediator to check if the couple would reconcile. The mediation proceedings succeeded and as per the terms drawn up in January 2017, Manoj would take Seema and their daughter to the US, and they will reside together. Subsequently, Manoj approached the HC for dropping the case against him.

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His lawyers informed the HC that Manoj had purchased air tickets for Seema and their daughter to fly to the US. The US authorities had issued an H4 dependent visa to the mother and daughter that was valid till September 2017. Manoj also submitted an undertaking that he would assist Seema if she wanted to get the visa extended. The court accepted the statement and said the settlement arrived at between the couple had been acted upon.

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