The maintenance of lists of gifts is crucial for the effective implementation of the law.
Further, this list provides the basis for a woman to retrieve items given to her at the
time of the marriage since there are no penalties provided for the failure to maintain lists of gifts exchanged in connection with the marriage the lists are hardly maintained by parties .
delhi High court has held that wherein lists are not prepared and rules framed under act not followed adverse inference should be drawn .
In the matter of Smt. Neera Singh Vs The State (Govt. of NCT of DELHI) CRL.M.C.7262/2006 dated 23.02.2007 and Others Justice Dhingra of Delhi High Court has observed that:
“The police should simultaneously register a case under Dowry Prohibition Act (in short, the Act) against the parents of the complainant as well, who married their daughter despite demand of dowry. Section 3 of the Act prohibits giving and taking of dowry. If a woman of grown up age and well educated gets married to a person despite dowry demand, she and her family becomes accomplice in the crime under Dowry Prohibition Act.”
Now-a-days, it has become a tendency to make vague and omnibus allegations against every member of the family of the husband, involving everybody under Section 498A and 406 of the IPC by making one or the other allegations.
Now-a-days, exorbitant claims are made about the amount spent on marriage and other ceremonies and on dowry and gifts. In some cases claim is made of spending crores of rupees on dowry without disclosing the source of income and how funds flowed. I consider time has come that courts should insist upon disclosing source of such funds and verification of income from tax returns and police should insist upon the compliance of the Rules under Dowry Prohibition Act and should not entertain any complaint, if the rules have not been complied with. Rule 2 of the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of List of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985 reads as under:2. RULES IN ACCORDANCE WITH WHICH LISTS OF PRESENTS ARE TO BE MAINTAINED.-(1) The list of presents which are given at the time of the marriage to the bride shall be maintained by the bride. (2)The list of presents which are given at the time of the marriage to the bridegroom shall be maintained by the bridegroom. (3)Every list of presents referred to in Sub-rule(1) or Sub-rule(2)- (a) shall be prepared at the time of the marriage or as soon as possible after the marriage; (b) shall be in writing; (c) shall contain:- (i) a brief descripttion of each present; (ii) the approximate value of the present; (iii) the name of the person who has given the present; and (iv) where the person giving the present is related to the bride or bridegroom, a descripttion of such relationship. (d) Shall be signed by both the bride and bridegroom.
The Metropolitan Magistrates should take cognizance of the offence under the Act in respect of the offence of giving dowry whenever allegations are made that dowry was given as a consideration of marriage, after demand. Courts should also insist upon compliance with the rules framed under the Act and if rules are not complied with, an adverse inference should be drawn. If huge cash amounts are alleged to be given at the time of marriage which are not accounted anywhere, such cash transactions should be brought to the notice of the Income Tax Department by the Court so that source of income is verified and the person is brought to law. It is only because the Courts are not insisting upon compliance with the relevant provisions of law while entertaining such complaints and action is taken merely on the statement of the complainant, without any verification that a large number of false complaints are pouring in.