Dowry is essentially a social problem and can be resolved only through social reform, the Bombay High Court said directing Maharashtra government to file an affidavit stating what steps it has taken to curb the menace.
“Dowry is essentially a social problem and can be resolved only through social reform. It will be futile for this court to issue a direction that dowry should not be demanded or given,” the court said.
The direction to the state government was passed by a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and Revati Mohite-Dere while hearing a public interest litigation by an advocate Priscilla Samuel raising the issue of dowry.
According to the petition, under Dowry Prohibition Act every police station should have a dowry prohibition officer and government has to also set up a board to assist and advice such officers.
Samuel in her petition also raised the issue of matrimonial websites and other marriage bureaus which openly indulge and encourage the practice of dowry.
The bench said “the state government shall file an affidavit saying what steps it has taken to stop the menace of dowry considering the fact that several deaths still take place on account of non-payment of dowry amount to the groom and his family.”
The court also sought to know from the government if dowry prohibition officers have been appointed in every police station.
The affidavit shall be filed in four weeks.