"Persistence of social evil requires larger consideration": Supreme Court says issue of dowry death & domestic violence requires relook by Law Commission

  • Gautam Mishra
  • 05:35 PM, 06 Dec 2021

The Supreme Court on Monday has suggested that the Law Commission consider the larger issue of dowry death and domestic violence as it is persisting social evil, opining that the legislation in this regard needs reconsideration.

A division bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice AS Bopanna noted, "Persistence of the social evil requires a much larger consideration."

The Public Interest Litigation has been filed seeking direction to the Government that in every Government/public office, there should be a designated Dowry Prohibition Officer, (as similar to Public Information Officer, under RTI Act-2005) in order to implement the Dowry Prohibition Act-1961, in letter and spirit.

The plea stated that, "In the patriarchal society, it was very common to receive the dowry from the bride’s side with proud, right and custom and without any hesitation. Therefore Mahatma Gandhiji said “Any young man, who makes dowry a condition to marriage, discredits his education and his country and dishonors womanhood”."

It further stated that "there is a total number of 37 Women Commission’s in India, without much results or benefits to the women’s at large, though it has a more or less same provision that “ Inquire into any unfair practice, take a decision thereon and to recommend to the Government the action to be taken in that matter,”"

The plea has also sought constitution of a Curriculum Commission in order to impart proper education for marriage for the schools and special pre-marriage course which will include Medical experts, Sociologists, Economists, Legal Experts, Educationalists, Social Activist and Religious Experts from all Major Religions in India, and formulate a curriculum and implement the same across India on war-foot basis.

The Court disposed of the petition while suggesting the Law Commission to consider the issue pertaining to dowry deaths and domestic violence.

Case Title: Sabu Steephen and Ors. Vs. Union of India and Ors.