Demand for dowry can be made at any time and not necessarily before marriage: Supreme Court

Feb 19, 2015 18:18 IST

Supreme Court (SC) on 11 February 2015 ruled that demand for dowry can be made at any time and not necessarily before marriage. The decision was given by the SC bench comprising of Justice MY Eqbal and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose.

The decision was given by the SC Bench in the State of Uttarakhand vs Bhim Singh & Anr., (2015) while upholding the life term awarded to Bhim Singh for poisoning and burning his wife Prem Davi to death in 1997.

The apex court said that the social evil of dowry that is prevalent in the Indian society and the defence that it was not sought before the marriage does not hold water.

In the of Himachal Pradesh v. Nikku Ram & Ors., (1995), SC had held that the demand for dowry can be made at any time, and not necessarily before marriage. The demand can be made on three occasions; before marriage, at the time of marriage and after marriage.

Earlier, the trial court had held Bhim and his brother guilty of offence 304-B (dowry death) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sentenced them to life, Section 498-A (cruelty) of IPC and Sections 3 & 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

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