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Value of married women not contingent on insatiable financial demands of in-laws: Delhi High Court [Read Judgment]

By Rintu Mariam Biju      12 January, 2024 05:55 PM      0 Comments
Value of married women not contingent on insatiable financial demands of in-laws: Delhi High Court [Read Judgment]

NEW DELHI: While lamenting over the number of cases pertaining to dowry demands, the Delhi High Court has passed an important judgement highlighting how a married womans worth shouldnt be contingent on her parents' ability to meet the insatiable financial demands from her in-laws. 

The persistent prevalence of regressive mindsets and instances exemplified by cases involving insatiable demands for dowry underscores a broader societal concern. It highlights the challenges faced by married women, whose intrinsic value and dignity should not be contingent upon their parents' ability to meet the insatiable financial demands from their in-laws, Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed while adding that these expectations, apart from causing great burden on the woman and her family, is also against the spirit of gender equality. 

In contemporary times, the idea of a woman's worth being tied to material considerations, such as dowry, contradicts the principles of equality and dignity. The notion that a woman's value diminishes if her parents cannot fulfill dowry expectations of her husband and in-laws reflects a deep-seated bias and discrimination against women. Such expectations not only violate the principles of gender equality but also contribute to an environment where women are objectified and reduced to mere transactions space, love, affection and support, the new bride is met with unrelenting greed and harassment from the very individuals who she and her family have put their faith in, the adverse consequences of such unexpected consequences extend beyond the immediate victims, affecting the deceased's parental family inflicting profound emotional trauma

The Court was hearing a bail application against one in a dowry death case (Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code). In the case, the husband along with his other family members used to subject his wife to mental and physical torment, on account of demand for dowry ultimately leading to her committing suicide. 

The complainant, the deceaseds parent alleged that the accused and his family pressured the deceased for additional dowry and financial demands, causing significant distress. Further, the deceased was taunted and mistreated for giving birth to girl children. 

The tragic aspect of this case lies in the fact that the deceased was allegedly subjected to harassment at the hands of her husband and in-laws for bringing insufficient dowry, a car smaller than they had expected which they used to call as iron box and used to mock her for the same. Additionally, she was allegedly continuously nagged and harassed for giving birth to two daughters, the Court noted. 

It is unsettling to see a situation where the parents' intentions are to ensure their child's well-being and comfort as she moves from her birthplace to a new home known as her matrimonial home. This is because a woman sometimes needs time to get used to a new lifestyle and occasionally to the different cultural values that her new family may hold. When, rather of offering consolation, if the in-laws taunt the child, it will be very difficult, the high court expressed. 

.a society that emphasizes equality and strives for equal progress of women and women empowerment, incidents as the present one are etched as disheartening markers on the path of equal societal advancement for women, the Court said before dismissing the bail application.

 

[Read Judgment]



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Rintu Mariam Biju graduated from the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi after comp...Read more

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