A former IT sales professional, Manpreet Singh Bhandari (37), who was booked under Prohibition of Dowry Act on a complaint by his wife Ashima Gupta, has now lodged a complaint against his father-in-law and other family members for giving him dowry.
Advocate Rajalaxmi Ankalagi says Section 3 of the Dowry Act can be invoked in cases like this, but the courts are usually sympathetic to the dowry giver, not to the taker.
Though there are a few clear cut judgments in the Supreme Court, judges have made observations in this regard. In one, the court notes that the greed of the dowry taker can’t be equated with the helplessness of the dowry giver.
Advocate G R Mohan says no judgment has been passed to date to punish anyone for giving dowry. “A person who accepts dowry will be punished first, and at the second stage, the court might consider punishing the giver,” he told Express.
‘FILE MORE CASES’
Kumar Jagirdar, who heads Child Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP), says 92 per cent of those accused in dowry cases are acquitted after trial.
“This goes to show that most are false cases. It also shows that misuse of the dowry law is rampant,” he said.
Jagirdar is among those campaigning for a change in the law. “The entire family of the husband goes to jail on a mere complaint from the wife. This section of the law has to be amended,” he said.
He believes more cases filed under Section 3 would instil fear among those who misuse the law.