How civilized and educated are we? Still we hear umpteen number of dowry cases getting registered daily. Despite having a very strong judicial law i.e “Dowry Prohibition Act and Domestic Violence Act” nothing much has come into action. One of such bizarre dowry case where a Bangalore-based software engineer has filled a case against his wife and in-laws for paying him dowry.
His contention: Giving dowry is as much an offence as receiving it.
Demanding dowry is a crime, so is giving it. In a first of its kind in the state, a city-based software engineer jailed for taking dowry has filed a case against his wife and in-laws for ‘giving’ him dowry. Virag Dhulia, 28, who had been imprisoned for two days, was later released on bail. Virag has filed cases against his wife Viral Goda and his in-laws saying they had paid him dowry. Virag separated from his wife within two months of their marriage. Viral and her parents filed a complaint in the Mahadevapura police station saying they had paid Virag Rs 12 lakh as dowry.
Not to take it lying down, he too filed a complaint against them. “My wife says I have received dowry, which is illegal. But it’s equally illegal to give dowry. So I have filed a case against her,” he said. “I have not taken any dowry, but they have filed a false case against me. I am shocked at the steps taken by my wife. I read law books and filed the case. This is my answer to my wife who has filed false cases against me,” Virag said. As per the law, giving dowry is as much a crime as demanding it. Hence, it attracts equal punishment under Section 3 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
Police records clearly say his wife and in-laws had paid him dowry, but he had not demanded it. The case has been admitted in Tenth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court, Mayo Hall. In January this year, the court directed the jurisdiction police to investigate the case and file a first information report.
Virag said, “The misuse of Dowry Prohibition Act and Domestic Violence Act should be stopped or it can get many innocent people into trouble”.I don’t know what the police are doing. Even after the court ordered an inquiry, the police have not done anything.
Viral filed dowry harassment case against Virag on September 10, 2007. “I was harassed mentally and physically by my husband and his parents. They tortured me for more dowry. They demanded Rs 12 lakh more as dowry and warned that if they don’t get money, I would be sent back,” said her complaint.Viral has alleged Virag had assaulted her for more money and she was “not allowed to eat ‘good food’ and not allowed to talk to friends”. “I was feeling insecure,” she has said. Virag, however, denied all these allegations. “I have already said all her allegations are baseless. She did all this as I didn’t come out of my family,” he said.
Virag and Viral married on February 12, 2007 in Kolkata. Virat is a software engineer working in i2 Technologies located in Marathahalli in Bangalore. She was staying with him in Bangalore, where Virag had bought her a flat. Virag’s parents too were staying with him as he was their only son.“I bought her a flat and I loved her very much. Problems started after a month. She didn’t want to stay with my parents,” said Virag.“She asked me to separate from my parents and started demanding more money. She went to her parents’ house, but did not come back. Virag called her several times, visited her and even wrote to her. But she didn’t return,” said Virag.
Later, she came with her parents and uncles and filed dowry harassment cases against him. “She also asked for a divorce and filed for maintenance which I am paying,” he said.
There is an interesting coincidence, Virag Dhulia on 27th August 2008 had written his opinion on the same topic of “Dowry” in our blog. Click here to read the interesting debate on Dowry”