Any Material Given To Womens In-Laws By Her Family Is Considered Dowry: SC

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Any 'Material' Given To Women's In-Laws By Her Family Is Considered Dowry: SC

The apex court quashed a judgment passed by the Madhya Pradesh high court, that acquitted a father-son duo in a dowry death where a woman named Geeta Bai was burnt to death.

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On Tuesday, The Supreme Court asked for a broader interpretation of 'dowry'. The apex court quashed a judgment passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court that acquitted a father-son duo in a dowry death case, stating that the money was voluntarily given to the victim's in-laws her parents.

With Justices NV Ramana, AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli on the bench, they asked for widening the definition of dowry. It should include that any demand made by the woman's in-laws to her family will come under this term. The man was married to Geeta Bai for seven years, and she was burnt to death and was five months pregnant.

'Dowry' With An Expansive Meaning

According to The Times of India, the legislation needs to curb a social evil like demanding dowry. "In the context, the word 'dowry' ought to be ascribed an expansive meaning to encompass any demand made on a woman, whether in respect of a property or a valuable security of any nature," said Justice Hima Kohli.

Further, the inferences stated that the victim was possibly tormented and forced the pay to her husband's family. "We think that the trial court has correctly interpreted the demand for money raised by respondents on the deceased for the construction of a house. It cannot be lost sight of that they had been constantly tormenting the deceased and asking her to approach her family members for money to build a house. It was only their insistence that she was compelled to ask them to contribute some amount of money," the judgment said.

The apex court convicted both her husband and father by awarding seven years of rigorous imprisonment due to the existing evidence. "The glaring circumstances, when viewed together, can hardly mitigate the offence of the respondents. The death took place at her matrimonial home within seven years of marriage, and it happened in abnormal circumstances."

Also Read: With Dowry Death Menace On Rise, Violence Against Women Continue In India

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