The Court clarified 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. In respect of ‘stridhana articles’ given to the bride, one has to take into consideration the common practice that these articles are sent along with the bride to her matrimonial house and used by her in her matrimonial house. Accordingly, it could not be held that dowry was given to groom’s parents and sisters who were living separately from the couple and they were duty bound to return the same to the deceased.
In the absence of specific allegations of entrustment of the dowry amount and articles to the in-laws, continuation of criminal proceeding against Appellants was held to be unjust and improper.
The court further observed that power under Section 482 Cr.P.C. should be sparingly exercised in rare cases. When a prosecution at the initial stage is asked to be quashed, the test to be applied by the Court is to determine as to whether the uncontroverted allegations as made in the complaint prima facie establish the offence. The Court must take into consideration any special feature which appears in a particular case to consider whether it is expedient and in the interest of justice to permit a prosecution to continue.