Dowry Case Filed Against A Dead Man, Exposing The Flaws In India’s Dowry Laws

The Logical Indian

October 20th, 2015

News Source: Dailymail

B.Tech. in Electrical Engineering from IIT , Master of Financial Engineering from Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley, CFA Level 3 Candidate.

6+ years of work experience in Financial Services , 4 years Post MFE work experience, 3 years work experience in New York and San Francisco

Derivatives, Option Pricing & Theory, Stochastic Calculus, Credit Risk Modeling
Rates, Currencies, Commodities, Indices and Exotics

His Salary: Two lakh rupees per month

Current Status: Death by suicide, after jumping off from the 9th floor of his posh apartment building in upmarket Gurgaon, reportedly harassed by his wife with threats of dowry charges.

Rakesh Pilania was 30 years old when he decided to jump to his death on Oct 5. His family has alleged that he took the step out of fear of being charged with Section 498A of the IPC (cruelty against wife by husband and relatives).

Rakesh must have thought that this step would help to avoid harassment of himself and his family, but little did he know that his wife would go ahead and file a dowry harassment case against him and his family a day after his death, that too not in Gurgaon, but in her hometown of Hapur, over 100 km away from the purported scene of the crime because Gurgaon police refused to register the FIR. In her FIR, the wife claimed that Rakesh was mentally unstable and harassed her for a dowry of ten lakhs.

“This took his life. But even his death could not deter her from registering a case against us. This clearly shows the police did not carry out proper investigation before lodging an FIR,” said his father Anand Prakash Pilania to Dailymail reporter.

“The woman and her family concealed the information that Rakesh committed suicide. They are now trying to evade the case of abetment of suicide against them. On the day of the incident, she was nearby. They knew Rakesh took his life. They had come to the hospital where Rakesh was taken and had threatened us to not initiate any legal action,” he added.

Rakesh’s family, on the other hand, has claimed that his wife and brother-in-law repeatedly threatened them with Section 498A. The Gurgaon police told the press that the wife wanted to work and got a job that paid her Rs 15000 per month, and Rakesh had even arranged a cab that charged Rs 20000 per month so that she did not face any problems in commuting.

We do not have all the legal details of this case yet, but based on the statements given by Rakesh’s family, news reports and investigations by Deepika Narayan Bhardwaj, an independent journalist and activist. the following important questions need to be asked.

1. Rakesh had an impressive educational and work record, including his stint abroad. Nothing shows that he suffered from mental instability.

2. Why did the wife wait for Rakesh’s death to file a dowry case? Why did she not do it while he was alive?

3. There have been many other suicides due to the flawed Section 498A law and many husbands and their families have had to suffer a lot. How many more people must suffer before the law undergoes a revision?

Perhaps if these questions can be answered, not just Rakesh’s family but all the husbands and families wrongly implicated under  false dowry cases will be able to breathe easy.

We hope the truth comes out soon, and people stop exploiting the legal system, because everytime this happens, women who are genuinely suffering due to dowry become less believable in the public eye.

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