My name is Hasan, I am from Dhaka. I have a query to you that, my wife and her family filed a suit against me about dowry before Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Court, Dhaka. They are trying to say that I claimed 10,00,000 BDT from them as dowry. I am mentioning, we got married 5 years ago and we have a beautiful daughter. But now she is trying to say I am not her type and so that she wanna leave my family with our daughter. Now she is claiming an unethical demand as the remedy of her this 5 year. I denied. That’s why she filed suit against me.
For your kind information, I never claim dowry, evenI didn’t take any penny from her family at the time of marriage or before marriage.
Thank you for your query. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the misuse of law against you. Although you are an accused according to law but actually you are a victim of such a false case as far as I understand. First of all you need to obtain bail from the Court as soon as possible. Then you need to face the trial, even if you had alleged with a false fact. In the present scenario of Bangladesh, a lot of false dowry related cases are being lodged against the innocent husbands. For that reason, the Honorable Supreme Court of Bangladesh recently provided a judgment relating to such false dowry related cases, by which the innocent people will be protected from such harassment.
Actually Dowry related law which is called as theDowry Prohibition Act 1980 was passed 26th December 1980. According to the section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1980, if any person, after the commencement of this Act, demands, directly or indirectly, from the parents or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment which may extend to five years and shall not be less than one year, or with fine, or with both.
According to the section 2 of Dowry Prohibition Act, dowry means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly-
1. By one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage; or
2. By the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person to either party to the marriage or to any other person;
At the time of marriage or at any time before or after the marriage as consideration for the marriage of the said parties, but does not include dower or mehr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law applies.
So, after marriage any financial demand will not treat as dowry if there is no prior contract consistent with consideration of marriage. Besides, landmark case upon dowry, 7 ALR 2016(1) N.M. Shafiqur Rahman vs The State provides that, it is a condition given to any party of marriage that before or at the time of marriage or after the marriage some property or money should be given to him or her. The word “Bride” and “Bridegroom” as mentioned in Section 4 of the said Act made it more clear. After marriage nobody can be treated as bride or bridegroom they may be treated as husband and wife.
After marriage bride and bridegroom become wife and husband, so allegation against you is not eligible. For more clearance, at the time of marriage you and your wife was bridegroom and bride. But, now you both are husband and wife. So, financial demand or claim after marriage will not treat as dowry if that is not the consideration of marriage which was the condition of marriage. Although you were not claiming any money, if you did that will not also treat as dowry. Cause, you are her husband and she is your wife. Between husband and wife, dowry can not come if that was not a condition of marriage. Just face the court proceeding, In Sha Allah the court will try prudentially which may go to your favor.
A.B.M Shahjahan Akanda (Masum)
Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh.
He is the Head of the chamber of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Law for Nations’, which has expertise mainly in banking law, tax law, commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law,constitutional law, criminal law and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. He can be reached at – cell:01711459590, E-mail: email@example.com.