SC disapproves misuse of dowry-related provisions of law

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New Delhi, Dec 27 (UNI) The Supreme Court has strongly disapproved the misuse of the law meant for combating the menace of harassment of women for dowry at the hands of her husband or his relative.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhan and D K Jain while quashing the charges against father-in-law and sister-in-law of the complainant, Neetu, for offences under section 406(Criminal breach of trust) and Section 498A (harassment for dowry)read with Section 34 (common intention)IPC, noted, ''Section 498A IPC was introduced with the avowed object to combat the menace of dowry deaths and harassment to a women at the hands of her husband or his relative.'' '' Nevertheless, the provision should not be used as a device to achieve oblique motive. Having carefully glanced through the complaint, the FIR and the chargesheet, we find that charge under Section 498A IPC is not brought home in so far as appellants number one and two are concerned,'' the bench added.

The court, however, refused to drop the charges under Section 498A IPC, against the husband Ashutosh Misra.

The apex court, however, clarified that the trial court shall proceed with the trial without being influenced by the observations made by the Additional Sessions Judge and upheld by the High Court.

Neetu has alleged in her complaint dated April 4, 1995, that appellants were demanding Rs 50,000 and a VCR but the apex court noted that the complaint was an afterthought and not bonafide.

The apex court, however, dropped charges under Section 406, IPC against all three. They were married in Delhi on December 5, 1993.

UNI

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