Retention of Stridhan by Husband is a continuing offence

Supreme Court: While dealing with a question whether the retention of stridhan by the husband or any other family members is a continuing offence or not, the division bench comprising of Dipak Misra and Prafulla C. Pant, JJ held that the concept of “continuing offence” gets attracted from the date of deprivation of stridhan, for neither the husband nor any other family members can have any right over the stridhan and they remain the custodians.

In the present case, the wife submitted the application on 22.05.2010 regarding non-payment of monthly allowance by husband from January onwards therefore, she had been compelled to file the application for stridhan. The Court on this pivotal issue said that as long as the status of the aggrieved person remains and stridhan remains in the custody of the husband, the wife can always put forth her claim under Section 12 of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005. Earlier, the matter was barred on ground of limitation by the High Court. The Court therefore, set aside the orders passed by High Court and Courts below due to the grave error. [Krishna Bhatacharjee v. Sarathi Choudhury, 2015 SCC OnLine SC 1229, November 20, 2015]

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