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  Bombay High Court seeks reply on plea for dowry officers

Bombay High Court seeks reply on plea for dowry officers

AGE CORRESPONDENT
Published : Feb 11, 2016, 2:29 am IST
Updated : Feb 11, 2016, 2:29 am IST

The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the government of Maharashtra to file a detailed reply on a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) seeking appointment of full-time dowry prohibition o

The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the government of Maharashtra to file a detailed reply on a bunch of public interest litigations (PILs) seeking appointment of full-time dowry prohibition officer to prevent cases of dowry deaths. The HC also sought a reply on the complaint that several marriage bureaus, including matrimonial websites, were not regulated properly and were facilitating dowry.

Advocate Mahrukh Edenwala told the division bench of Justice V.M. Kanade and Justice Revati Mohite-Dere that nation-wide, over 10,000 cases of dowry had been registered in 2014 but in Maharashtra, only 39 cases had been registered, implying that the state police was reluctant to file dowry cases. Advocate Edenwala also said that police personnel in Maharashtra were too busy to work on dowry cases and therefore, a full-time dowry prohibition officer needed to be appointed to implement provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

 

On the other hand, Advocate Priscilla Samuel, while arguing her PIL which mainly deals with the government’s alleged inaction to curb dowry and related issues, said that some marriage bureaus and matrimonial websites were providing information in clients’ profiles as to how much dowry was expected. She pointed out to the court that some of these websites were openly advertising that they were ready to act as negotiator in dowry matters. She made such an allegation by quoting an email purportedly sent by a matrimonial website bureau.

Ms Samuel contended that as per the Maharashtra Regulation of Marriage Bureaus and Registration of Marriages Act, 1998, every marriage bureau must be registered with the government. She also alleged that often, marriage bureaus charged astronomical sums for providing information about prospective brides and grooms but they did not verify any claims made by the parties.