Observing that the anti-dowry law has been reduced to a ”paper tiger” due to the bride’s family giving away dowry in many cases, a court here said they also need to be prosecuted like the groom’s family to eliminate the social evil.
“Dowry is a two way traffic and unless there is a giver there can be no taker and it is for this reason that in order to eliminate this evil both the giver and taker have been made liable (under Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act),” Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said.
“It is not possible to leave one and book another,” the court said while resenting the prevalent practice of the bride’s family giving dowry.
“It is unfortunate that this legislation has been reduced to a mere paper tiger and what is more unfortunate is the fact that it is none else but the family of the woman (involved in the marriage) who is responsible for non-accomplishment of this legislation,” the court said.It further said the social welfare legislation meant to remove the evil of dowry should be implemented effectively.
“Dowry is shamelessly demanded, given and received under the pretext of social compulsions. It is time that this social welfare legislation (Dowry Prohibition Act) is ruthlessly implemented and none is permitted to take the shield of social compulsions. This has become all the more necessary in order to check the misuse and abuse of Special Laws,” ASJ Lau said.
The court also said the expensive gifts given by relatives to a couple before and after marriage must be brought to the notice of authorities for levying taxes.It passed the observations while dismissing a plea of a woman seeking to quash criminal proceedings initiated against her family for giving dowry, which came following a complaint by her husband who faced dowry harassment charges.
In the case, Uma Devi, estranged wife of Sunil Garg, had challenged the order passed by a Metropolitan Magistrate in October last year directing registration of an FIR against her family members for giving dowry during her marriage in April 2008.The magistrate had ordered registration of the FIR on Garg’s complaint referring to her admission of giving gifts and money to his family