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Legal Court Expresses Concern Over Misuse Of Dowry Laws

Jan 1, 2010
<table valign="top" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"><tbody><tr><td class="PageTitle">Court expresses concern over misuse of dowry laws</td></tr> <tr><td>New Delhi, Oct 8 (PTI)</td></tr> <tr><td colspan="2" class="SummaryStyle">
Expressing concern over misuse of penal provisions for harassment to women for dowry and subjecting them to cruelty, a Delhi court has counselled women to get out of the sour marital relations rather than being revengeful. </td> </tr> <tr height="1"><td>
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The court's concern and advice found a place in a ruling by Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau upholding the acquittal of a man and his three family members from the charges of harassing his wife.

She expressed concern over the misuse of dowry laws citing a Supreme Court verdict which termed it as "legal terrorism."

"I may observe that Section 498A (subjecting woman to cruelty) of IPC in the recent years has become a consummate embodiment of gross human rights violation, extortion and corruption and even the apex court had acknowledged this abuse and termed it as legal terrorism," ASJ Lau said.

The court counselled women to get out of discordant marital relations, quoting Sahir Ludhianvi.
"Taaruf rog ho jaaye to usko bhoolna behtar; Taalluk bojh ban jaaye to usko todna achcha; Wo afsaana jise anjaam tak laana na ho mumkin; Use ek khoobsoorat mod dekar chhodna achcha.

(It is better to forget one's particular identity if it becomes diseased and to break one's relation if it becomes a burden. The story which cannot be concluded properly, should be abandoned at an honourable stage)," the court said.

The court gave the order upholding a magisterial court order which acquitted woman's husband Sanjay Kumar, his father Vijay Kumar, mother Beena Devi and brother Ranjeet of the charges of subjecting his wife to cruelty for dowry.

The court's order came on an appeal by the woman against the magisterial court order.
ASJ Lau upheld the order of the magisterial court saying it was not safe to rely on the woman's uncorroborated testimony.

The woman had alleged her husband and his parents used to harass her father for dowry and for other reasons but in the court even her brother and father had not uttered a single word about any kind of harassment done to them.

The woman's husband and his family, on the other hand, told the court that she had already settled the issue with them by taking Rs 25,000 towards alimony and other articles.

"The victims are often misguided into exaggerating the facts by adding those persons as accused who are unconnected with the harassment under a mistaken belief that by doing so they are making a strong case as has happened in the present case where the complainant (woman) has involved the entire family of the husband i.e. father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law," the judge said.

"The platform of the courts cannot be permitted to be used for personal vendetta or to unleash harassment and the tendency of the complainants to come out with inflated and exaggerated allegations by roping in each and every relation of the husband is required to be deprecated," the judge said.

The court, while disposing off the case, advised the woman that all relationships are not successful and most of them which appear to have succeeded are often based upon compromises.

"Let the past which is painful go since attaching yourself to it will only give pain and miseries and help none," it said.

Rajneesh Madhok