Hi, I got married on 22nd April 2014. My wife alleged me and my family on Dowry charge on zero grounds. We don't believe in dowry and never asked for the same. We never lived together for more than a week. After marriage she lived with her mother always. I have two elder brothers and both are happily married. I live and work in Delhi. My mom dad lives in Bokaro only.
Some points to take on top before deciding anything:
- My wife’s parents lived a divorced life throughout their life.
- My wife’s family's reputation is nothing and has no relations with the society, when her father died; nobody came to her house for three days.
- Her mother is a clever lady.
- They want me to live like a live-in son in law.
- She is a single child of her mother.
- Rxxx Gxxxx
Expert Advice –
Your wife has the right to file a police complaint with regard to a dowry allegation regardless of whether or not you feel there has ever been such a demand. So please understand that she can file a complaint at any time. However, you appear to have some factors in your favor. Firstly, could you please clarify whether immediately after marriage you lived together with your wife in Delhi or in Bokaro? If you were in Bokaro she may include your mother in any complaint that she files. Since you insist that your family does not believe in dowry and you have never made such a demand, I will take your word for it. If a complaint is filed now, please note the following:
1) You lived only for a week together at which time there might be some communication (emails, letters or personal meeting witnessed by several members of the family or friends) that will clarify that she left because of basic incompatibility and not due to any demand for dowry or any harassment in that regard. I suggest that you start collecting any and every such piece of evidence if any exists.
2) If any complaint is received please bear in mind that a complaint has not been made since April 2014 till date, which is a period of about 1 year from the date you say she left for her home (you say that you only lived together for a week after marriage).
3) Since nearly a year has passed since she went back to her maternal home and you have not lived together for this time, you have the right to file for divorce. It will be important to see whether she has claimed any maintenance from you over the last one year. If she hasn't, and has lived a comfortable life, this will be a useful factor for you to challenge any high claims of maintenance that may arise.
I suggest that you file for divorce on the ground that you have lived separately for one year and that there has been an irretrievable breakdown of marriage from the start. That you never found yourself to be compatible. If the marriage isn't registered, you will have to annex sufficient evidence of the marriage ceremony to prove that a marriage had in fact occurred and that you are now seeking a divorce.
I urge you to contact a lawyer and file for divorce as soon as possible. It will help you to place facts before the Court before your wife or her family files a criminal complaint for dowry.
- Nikhil Mehra