Relying on the Apex Court here, it was held that Voluntary gifts are not dowry. Conversely, which idiot would say that, at marriage, he is giving demanded dowry and which idiot will say openly that I am taking demanded dowry. Haha… Good one!
From Para 25,
Netai Ghosh and Anr Vs State of West Bengal on 21 Jun 2021
25. Under Section 4 of the Act, mere demand of dowry is not sufficient to bring home the offence to an accused. Thus, any demand of money, property or valuable security made from the bride or her parents or other relatives by the bridegroom or his parents or other relatives or vice versa would fail within the mischief of “dowry” under the Act where such demand is not properly referable to any legally recognized claim and is relatable only to the consideration of marriage. Dowry as a quid pro quo for marriage is prohibited and not the giving of traditional presents to the bride or the bride groom by friends and relatives. Thus, voluntary presents given at or before or after the marriage to the bride or the bridegroom, as the case may be, of a traditional nature, which are given not as a consideration for marriage but out of love, affection on regard, would not fall within the mischief of the expression ‘dowry’ made punishable under the Act. The decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of S. Gopal Reddy vs. State of Andhra Pradesh reported in AIR 1996 SC 2084 may be relied on in support of the above observation.
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