P&H HC: Convicted Husband for Murdering Wife Cannot Claim Stridhan Under Succession Law

punjab and haryana high court Law Insider

Aastha Thakur

Published on: 22 December 2022 at 22:14 IST

The Punjab and Haryana HC recently upheld the trial court decision which directed a husband who was convicted for murdering his wife to release her Stridhan (dowry articles) to her father.

The decision was given by the Bench of Justices MS Ramachandra Rao and Sukhvinder Kaur, who reiterated that the case of the appellant falls under Section 6(3) of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, as the probe done by police reveals that the wife died unnatural death other than in normal circumstances.

Further, the court stated that, provisions of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, cannot be overlooked by invoking the provisions of Hindu Succession Act.

The petitioner-husband filed the appeal challenging the decision of trial court directing to release Stridhan to deceased wife’s father, Ram Naresh Singh. The husband was held guilty under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code for murder of his wife, sentencing him for life imprisonment.

The plea seeking release of dowry articles given by father of the deceased wife was subsequently allowed by the Additional Sessions Judge.

The counsel representing the husband contended that as per Section 15(1) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, after death of the wife, her belongings shall devolve upon her children and husband.

Opposing this argument, the State counsel relied on the decision of Balbir Singh v. State of Haryana and State by Belakavadi Police v. Mallesha to prove that the father of deceased daughter shall be entitled to receive the dowry articles in case of dowry deaths.

The High Court said that the case of the husband squarely falls within clause 3 of Section 6 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, to maintain the custody of dowry articles with the complainant.

The HC dismissed the appeal plea of petitioner-husband and upheld decision of trial court, stating the court rightly applied directions of Balbir Singh case. The court held that:

“But in the instant case the accused husband has been convicted by the trial Court under Section 302 IPC for committing murder of his wife Shweta Singh. So keeping in view the ratio of law laid down in the cases supra also, the impugned order is a legal and valid order,”

Case Title: Sandeep Tomar v. State of Punjab

Related Post