Dowry death and cruelty

Question asked on: 12/02/2019

My daughter died in strange circumstances. She in-laws were demanded dowry after the marriage. I could not fulfil their demands but tried best to achieve as far as possible. I have sufficient evidence to prove that they demanded dowry otherwise ready to face dire consequences.

By and large, they were unhappy and called a meeting for settlement. I have so many messages about the incidents of cruelty. They tortured my daughter to compel us to give XUV 500. Mainly her husband and his parents are responsible. I want to know what is the law regarding dowry death and cruelty.

Advised by: Shivendra Pratap Singh,

Accused has committed the offence of dowry death and all the ingredients of that offence are exist in your case. You should file FIR as soon as possible. Delay in filing FIR may cause serious impediment.

The offence of dowry death is made punishable under section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Following are the essential ingredients of the offence: 

Basic components

The Supreme Court in Ram Badan Sharma v. State of Bihar, (2006) 10 SCC 115;  has explained the essential ingredients of dowry death as:

  • Deceased died due to burn or bodily injury or otherwise than under normal circumstances. 
  • She died within seven years of marriage. 
  • Soon before her death, she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband. 
  • Finally, that torture or cruelty related with any demand for dowry

Time is an essential element for this offence. Death should be caused within seven years of marriage, and such death is the direct consequence of cruelty committed by the accused of the demand of dowry. If there is remoteness of the link between death and demand for dowry, then offence of dowry death is not made out.

For brought the accused in the purview of dowry death, section 113 B inserted in the Indian Evidence Act. According to this section, the court upon fulfilment of some conditions shall presume that the offence of dowry death is committed. Section 113 B ensues presumption of dowry death. 

Presumption of dowry death

Section 113 B of the Indian Evidence Act empowers the court to presume dowry death upon fulfilment of these conditions

  • Soon before her death, she was subjected to cruelty. 
  • That cruelty or harassment was in connection with any demand for dowry

When prosecution successfully proves the conditions mentioned above, then the Court may presume that the accused has committed dowry death.

As far as your case is concerned, there has been persistent demand of dowry and harassment, humiliation and physical violence by the husband and her in-laws. After all, your daughter died in the relation of demand for dowry. She died within seven years of marriage. Hence, it is a clear case of dowry death.

The Supreme Court held in State of H.P. v. Nikku Ram [(1995) 6 SCC 219]; that the demand for dowry can be made at any time, and not necessarily before marriage. Generally, the accused demands dowry on three occasions. Firstly before the wedding. Secondly at the time of marriage and finally after the marriage.

However, to get a conviction under this section, cruelty must relate with demand for dowry as well as deceased being subjected to cruelty soon before her death.

Cruelty 

Section 498-A of IPC defines the act of cruelty. This section extends the ambit of section 304-B. Mere harassment of woman does not constitute cruelty. When the act committed with a view to forcing the wife to fulfil illegal demands of accused, then the court treats such act as cruelty under section 498-A.

There must be some cogent evidence in support of the fact that accused harassed his wife. Such harassment should be in connection unlawful demands like payment of money, delivery articles. That cruelty was committed soon before her death.

Ask Your Question

Shivendra Pratap Singh

Advocate, Lucknow

Advice: 16931

Consultation: 3367

Second application under section 125 crpc for maintenance

Sir, I refused to live with my husband due to deliberate demand of dowry and act of cruelty. I filed a maintenance case against him under section 125 of CrPC then court granted maintenance. My husband approached my family to reconcile the dispute and convince me to...

Sexual intercourse by false promise of marriage

I have a relationship with my boyfriend for two years; recently, I came to know that he is going to marry another girl. I quarrelled with him, but he is saying that you don’t have status and beauty how I can marry you? However, we had a physical relationship for that...

Fir recording of first information report under section 154 crpc

Someone has stolen my car. I went to the police station to lodge my FIR, but the officer on duty has refused to register it. He said that your information is vague and you produce some evidence regarding theft. I tried to convince him about the offence, but he was...

Trial of cheque bounce case

I like to file a check bounce case in fast track court. a. Is there any specific procedure for applying a case in fast track court? b. Will I get a quick judgement than the normal court?( I have heard check bounce cases pending for 3 years in normal court) c. is it...

Invalid sanction under Prevention of Corruption Act

I am an accused of the offence committed under section 13(1)- (c)(d)(e) of the prevention of corruption act. When the case was filed, the FIR was not coupled with a valid sanction of the competent authority. Therefore, I opposed the cognisance taken by the special...

The investigation without registration of FIR is impermissible in law

A police officer is trying to harass me in the false investigation. He says that an offence of cheating is registered against me. After that, I contacted an advocate to find the said FIR. He told me that no such FIR has lodged in the police station. The police officer...

Filing of FIR is illegal if dispute has settled in Lok Adalat

The electricity board has filed an FIR under Section 135 of the Electricity Act 2003. That FIR was for electricity theft. However, I was guilty of that offence. But the dispute has settled between the parties in the Mega Lok Adalat. I have a copy of the award. What...

Get call details under RTI Act

Can I get call details under RTI Act? I want to call details and tower location of a person because he eloped my sister. He is studying in her class, and both were love to each other. They decided to marry, and for that purpose, my sister always pressurised my mother...

Ossification test in rape cases

What is the ossification test for determination of age? Does it apply in rape cases?Section 375 of The Indian Penal Code defines offence of rape. Sixth paragraph of this section says that consent of victim is immaterial in offence of rape when the age of victim is...

The police officer has refused to register my case

Police says, No fir can be lodge for vehicle damage caused by any person. Yesterday at 11 pm, a boy from my colony came to me and asked for my car, but I refused to give him. Then he threatened me to break and damage my car, and he has damaged the door of my car. I...

quick Advice

Get A Quick Advice

Book an appointment for 15 minutes and consult with an expert over the phone within minutes

Talk to Advocate Shivendra

Book a phone consultation for 30 minutes and get solid advice on the phone

Book it Now