Can you file a case against wife or her relatives for giving Dowry?

In 498a complaints there is a common issue that wife or relatives of the wife alleges that they have given dowry in the marriage.

Section 3 of Dowry prohibition act states as under

“3. Penalty for giving or taking dowry.- (1)] If any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than [(Note: Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, Sec.3) five years, and with fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more:] Provided that the Court may, for a adequate and special reasons to be recorded in he judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of a term of less than [(Note: Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, Sec.3) five years.] (2) [(Note: Ins. by Act 63 of 1984, sec.3) Nothing is sub section (1) shall apply to, or in relation to, –

Now if wife files a complaint and she admits to giving dowry why she and relatives be prosecuted for giving dowry as envisaged under the DP Act 1961.

But if we see section of 7 of the Dowry prohibition act which says

7. Cognizance of offences –

……………….

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, a statement made by the person aggrieved by the offence shall not subject such person to a prosecution under this Act.”

In Judgement of Pooja Saxena vs State & Another

No doubt, as per Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, giving or abetting to give dowry is a punishable offence, but the petitioner does have protection of Section 7(3) of the Act. Section 7(3) provides that notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, a statement made by the person aggrieved by the offence under the Act shall not subject him to prosecution under this Act. In the instant case, it is obvious that respondent No.2 has filed his petition under Section 156(3) Cr.P.C. only on the basis of the allegations made by the petitioner Pooja Saxena in her complaint made to CAW Cell which formed basis for the registration of FIR No.232/2009 under Section 498A/406/34 IPC against respondent No.2 and others as well as in her petition under Hindu Marriage Act and Domestic Violence Act. Thus, it is clear that FIR No.59/2010 registered against the petitioner under Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is based upon the statements made by the petitioner in her complaint to CAW Cell and above noted petitions. Therefore, she is entitled to the protection of Section 7(3) of the Act, being the victim of demand of dowry.

Therefore Victim has the protection under the 7(3) of the act and no complaint can be lodged against her.

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