TAMIL NADU

“Ensure full compliance with Dowry Prohibition Rules”

Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has made it clear that Dowry Prohibition Officers (DPOs) should ensure full compliance with the rule in the Tamil Nadu Dowry Prohibition Rules which makes it mandatory on their part to conduct surprise checks and discreet enquiries and take appropriate action.

It was common knowledge that all instances of dowry harassment may not come to light and in such cases, discreet enquiries should be conducted to find out the truth. Whenever, the DPO came across such instances, they should take necessary action, a Division Bench comprising the Chief Justice H.L.Gokhale and Justice D.Murugesan said disposing of a writ petition.

The petitioner submitted that while dealing with information about matrimonial disputes arising from dowry offences, the current practice in Tamil Nadu was that all the accused were arrested without preliminary investigation and without any attempt to bring rapprochement of parties. Procedural rights that safeguarded a party in litigation was a natural human right. Deprivation or denial of the right was destruction of justice system.

The petition was filed to ensure that the provisions of Dowry Prohibition Act and the rules were implemented. It sought a direction to the Tamil Nadu Government to enforce the performance of DPOs with independent charges to them as directed by the Supreme Court in a case, to attempt reconciliation and conduct investigation under the rules.

The government informed the court that DPOs had been appointed in all districts. Upon receiving specific complaints, they proceeded to take necessary action as contemplated under the rules.

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