New Delhi: Giving dowry under the fear that
the proposed marriage may be called off is not an offence, the
Delhi High Court has held while quashing an FIR against a
bride and her family for conceding to the demands of the
Justice Ajit Bharihoke quashed the criminal proceedings
against the bride and her family after they convinced the
court that the dowry was given under pressure as the
bridegroom`s family had threatened to cancel the marriage.
"As per the allegations in the complaint made by the
petitioner (bride), the demand for dowry was made by the
father of respondent(bridegroom) at the time of engagement
ceremony when he allegedly asked the father of the girl to
concede to his demand for dowry, failing which he would call
off the marriage.
"From the aforesaid facts, it is obvious that the
petitioner and her parents were confronted with the unenviable
situation either to concede to the demand or face the loss of
honour of their family in the society, and if under that fear,
the petitioner and her parents conceded to the demand for
dowry, they cannot be faulted as they were victims of the
circumstances," the court said.
Granting relief to the bride, the court said "she cannot
be subjected to prosecution for the offence under the Dowry