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Home » Misuse of Dowry law affecting institution of marriage: Allahabad High Court

Misuse of Dowry law affecting institution of marriage: Allahabad High Court

Misuse of Dowry law affecting institution of marriage: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad high court on Monday issued guidelines to protect husbands and their relatives from misuse of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, which incorporates the law against dowry harassment. Apart from the guidelines, the court also had things to say about how the FIR in such cases shouldn’t be “soft porn”.

Judge Rahul Chaturvedi said cohabiting relationships that are freed from legal baggage, commitment and responsibilities are replacing traditional marriage, the Bar and Bench reported.

Judge Rahul Chaturvedi’s court went on to issue guidelines to prevent “misuse” of the IPC section in view of a “growing tendency in the masses to criticize the husband and all members of the family with general and sweeping accusations”.

One of the guidelines issued by the judge indicated that in case an FIR is registered under Section 498A, no arrest or coercive action can be taken against the husband and her relatives during a two-month “cooling off period”.

During these two months, the matter must be referred to the appropriate district’s Family Welfare Committee (FWC), the court-ordered.

The HC was hearing petitions filed by a man and his parents challenging the validity of a March 3 order issued by the Hapur Additional Sessions Judge, which had denied their requests for release in a criminal case brought by the wife. of the man.

In her 2018 FIR, the woman had alleged dowry harassment, as well as sexual and physical violence by her husband. She had also alleged that her father-in-law and her brother-in-law had demanded “sexual favours” from her.

The high court on Monday allowed the woman’s in-laws’ petitions for dismissal while noting that she and her husband had been living separately since April 2017, a year and four months after her marriage.

“In our traditional Indian family, where they reside in a joint family with an unmarried child, it is highly unlikely and difficult to digest allegations of demand for sexual favours by father-in-law or brother-in-law (sic)”, the judge said.

In addition to issuing guidelines, Justice Rahul Chaturvedi noted that in metropolitan cities, the ‘living relationship’ doctrine has “quietly infiltrated our socio-cultural ethos by replacing our traditional marriages.”

“This is a basic reality, and one has to accept it anyway, which is nothing like our traditional marriage,” the judge said. Cohabiting relationships are a stress-free company without any legal obligation, with many complications, responsibilities and legal responsibilities, the judge said.

“It is a voluntary agreement in which the single man or woman decides to live together on the same roof in a sexual and romantic relationship that appears to be married as an alternative or substitution for traditional marriage in which the single couple lives together without marrying each other. . free from its legal implications, commitments and responsibilities,” he added.

“In fact, this is a branch of traditional Indian marriage just to save the couple from dangers and legal complications and disputes between them,” the judge said.

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