Supreme Court: Dealing with the dowry laws, the 3-judge bench of TS Thakur, CJI and Dr. AK Sikri and R Banumathi, JJ said that giving of dowry and the traditional presents at or about the time of wedding does not in any way raise a presumption that such a property was thereby entrusted and put under the dominion of the parents-in-law of the bride or other close relations so as to attract ingredients of Section 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
Interpreting Section 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, the Court said that the provision lays down that where the dowry is received by any person other than the bride, that person has to transfer the same to the woman in connection with whose marriage it is given and if he fails to do so within three months from the date of the marriage, he shall be punished for violation of Section 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.
The Court further held that if the dowry amount or articles of married woman was placed in the custody of his husband or in-laws, they would be deemed to be trustees of the same. The person receiving dowry articles or the person who is dominion over the same, as per Section 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, is bound to return the same within three months after the date of marriage to the woman in connection with whose marriage it is given. If he does not do so, he will be guilty of a dowry offence under the said Section. It was further held that even after his conviction he must return the dowry to the woman within the time stipulated in the order. [Bobbili Ramakrishna Raju Yadav v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 42, decided on 19.01.2016]