Chennai: In an important judgment, the Madras High Court has ruled that money demanded by a man from his in-laws for doing business does not come under the category of 'dowry'.
Disposing of a dowry harassment petition, Justice C T Selvam of the Madurai bench on Wednesday said money demanded by a person from his wife and in-laws for investing in business cannot be construed as dowry demand and tried under Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
He said it was necessary for a complainant to prove that money was demanded only as dowry.
The Judge accepted the petitioner's submission that money had been demanded for conduct of business, but that the same was not demanded as dowry.
Such a demand for money for conduct of business would attract IPC Section 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), the judge said and ordered that the petitioners be prosecuted under this provision, apart from IPC Sec. 506(I) (criminal intimidation).
The Judge exonerated the complainant's father-in-law, saying he was in no way connected with the case.
He directed the Judicial Magistrate in Tiruchirapalli, where the case was filed in December last year, to prosecute the victim's husband, mother-in-law and two sisters-in-law alone.
(With agency inputs)