23 June 2021

voluntary presents given at or before or after the marriage to the bride or the bridegroom, out of love and affection is not dowry

It is needless to say that in a case of cruelty and dowry death, direct evidence is hardly available. It is the circumstantial evidence and the conduct of the accused persons which are to be taken into consideration for adjudicating upon the truthfulness or otherwise of the prosecution case. In the instant case it is alleged in the FIR that the mother-in-law of the deceased (appellant No.2) used to abuse the deceased with filthy language as her father failed to give a gold chain at the time of marriage. The defacto complainant also alleged that the husband of the deceased (appellant No.1) used to assault her physically. It is not disputed that the witnesses on behalf of the prosecution did not see the occurrence. Allegation of cruelty and unnatural death of the deceased was made by the defacto complainant only after the death of the deceased. It is important to note that the defacto complainant did not state in the FIR as well as in course of his evidence that the accused persons demanded dowry as a consequence of marriage. The definition of the expression "dowry" contained in Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 cannot be applied merely to the "demand" of money, property or valuable security made at or after the performance of marriage.[Para No.23]

    The legislature has in its wisdom while providing for the definition of "dowry" emphasized that any money, property or valuable security given, as a consideration for marriage, before, at or after the marriage would be covered by the expression "dowry" and this definition as contained in Section 2 has to be read wherever the expression "dowry" occurs in the Act.[Para No.24]

    Under Section 4 of the Act, mere demand of dowry is not sufficient to bring home the offence to an accused. Thus, any demand of money, property or valuable security made from the bride or her parents or other relatives by the bridegroom or his parents or other relatives or vice versa would fail within the mischief of "dowry" under the Act where such demand is not properly referable to any legally recognized claim and is relatable only to the consideration of marriage. Dowry as a quid pro quo for marriage is prohibited and not the giving of traditional
voluntary presents given at or before or after the marriage to the bride or the bridegroom, out of love and affection is not dowry
presents to the bride or the bride groom by friends and relatives. Thus, voluntary presents given at or before or after the marriage to the bride or the bridegroom, as the case may be, of a traditional nature, which are given not as a consideration for marriage but out of love, affection on regard, would not fall within the mischief of the expression 'dowry' made punishable under the Act.
The decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of S. Gopal Reddy vs. State of Andhra Pradesh reported in AIR 1996 SC 2084 may be relied on in support of the above observation.[Para No.25]

19 June 2021

Continuous and consensual sex between two adults cannot be considered as Rape

Upon considering the arguments and on perusal of the records, it goes to show that admittedly the victim and petitioner are major and they are Central Government employees. The petitioner is working as Superintendent of Central GST, West Commissionerate, Banashankari, Bangalore and the victim is working at the Office of the Central GST, East Commissionerate, Domlur, Bangalore. The introduction of the victim and the petitioner was in the year 2013 and the sexual assault started in the year 2014 at Bangalore. Thereafter till 2018 it was continued in Shivamogga and other various places. But the victim had not complained against the petitioner for having sexual abuse on her earlier. Learned counsel for the petitioner brought to the notice of this Court and relied upon the various judgments of the Supreme Court in the case of Pramod Suryabhan Pawar Versus The State of Maharashtra and Anr. and in the case of SIDDHARAM SATLINGAPPA MHETRE v. STATE OF MAHARASHTRA in respect of the principles for granting Anticipatory Bail. He also submitted that wife of the petitioner lodged a complaint against the very victim on 31.01.2019 at Kodigehalli Police Station. The victim was summoned by the police and she has given statement to the police she has never stated anything about sexual harassment on her by the petitioner and she gave a reply on 01.02.2019. The petitioner has also given a complaint to the Commercial Street Police on 30.10.2020 for making false allegations on him that he has cheated an amount even though the amount was refunded.[Para No.7]

    On perusal of the records, admittedly the petitioner alleged to have been sexually assault on the victim, of course with consent as both of them are major and officers of the Central Government. Though the victim came to know about the marital status of the petitioner before 2018 itself, but no complaint has been lodged by her either for cheating or for sexual assault on her. Even in the complaint she has stated that she has filed complaint against one Anthony Raj for sexual assault on her in the working place. On enquiry also she has stated that she has not lodged any complaint against this petitioner through out 2014 to 2018. On perusal of entire records, it appears, both, the petitioner and victim had sexual affairs with consent and it cannot be considered as rape as per the decision of Section 375 of the IPC
Continuous and consensual sex between two adults cannot be considered as Rape
when both adults having continuous consensual sex which cannot be considered as Rape. This Court will not going to the other contention regarding sexual assault on the woman in work place and conducting an Departmental enquiry. The recent judgment of the Hon'ble Supreme Court Journalist Varun Hiremath vs. State of Delhi, where the Supreme Court has held that if the man and woman are in room, man makes a request and woman complies and it is stated no need to say anything more and for cancellation of the bail granted to the journalist has been dismissed by the Hon'ble Supreme Court.[Para No.8]
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