New Delhi, Jan 20: In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court has said that a man would not be considered heir of properties and dowry items gifted to his wife by her parents, if she dies within seven years of the marriage.
The court ruled that husband would not be entitled to claim such properties if wife dies under 'mysterious circumastances' within this span of time. In such condition, their children will be automatic owner of the properties. The order was passed on a dowry plea which was filed by a man whose wife had died under suspicious circumstances within15 months of their marriage.
Apparently, court has tried to highlight the dowry menace prevalent in our society.
A bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur, justices AK Sikri and R Bhanumathi further said that if couple doesn't have any children, then in that case properties would be handed over to wife's parents.
The court clarifies that this condition will not be valid in case of natural death of the wife. In such case, husband and his parents can make a claim of the properties.
The court judgment was quoted by the TOI as saying, "The person receiving dowry articles or the person who has dominion over the same, as per Section 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, is bound to return the same within three months after the date of marriage to the woman in connection with whose marriage it is given,"
Judgment further said, "In respect of 'stridhana articles' given to the bride, one has to take into consideration the common practice that these articles are sent along with the bride to her matrimonial house. It is a matter of common knowledge that these articles are kept by the woman in connection with whose marriage it was given and used by her in her matrimonial house".