File affidavit on Dowry Prohibition Act: HC to TN

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Chennai , Aug 6: The Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu Government to file a detailed affidavit affirmed by a responsible senior officer, indicating the number of cases filed by the Dowry Prohibition Officers (DPOs) in the State for initiating prosecution under the Dowry Prohibition Act and the rules.

The affidavit should also state whether Rule 5 (xxvii) (iii) had been complied with by the DPOs. As per rule, a pledge should be administered on the Dowry Prohibition Day (November 26) to students of schools, colleges and other institutions and those employed in government service not to give or take dowry.

In its interim order on a writ petition by R Raghavan, a social worker, the first Bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kallifulla expressed its dissatisfaction about the very casual manner in which the rules had been framed by the Centre under section 9 of the Act.

The bench also impleaded the Centre as a party to the proceedings and said a copy of the court order and the petition be served to Assistant Solicitor-General (ASG) P Wilson.

The court also directed him to file a detailed affidavit on the lines indicated by it within three weeks.

The petitioner sought a direction to Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary L K Tripathy to enforce the orders and directions passed by the apex court with regard to the implementation of the Act and rules.

He also sought an ad-interim injunction restraining the police officer from usurping the statutory powers of the DPOs and consequently restrain him from effecting arrest or any action depriving personal liberty of the accused under the legislation before conciliation or rapprochement was affected by the DPOs.

The Government Pleader sought time to take instructions and furnish details of the steps taken by the state government under the Act. Following this, the bench directed the him to ascertain whether the State had decided to frame rules in accordance with the directions given by the Supreme Court in a case in 2005.

The Court adjourned the matter by four weeks.


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