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The Supreme Court has ruled that no agreement for giving or taking dowry is required to prove the offence of dowry death.

While upholding the conviction and sentence of father-in-law for setting afire his daughter-in-law for dowry, a bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and Mukundakam Sharma, in the judgement, noted, ‘While interpreting section 304B of the IPC (Dowry death), if courts insist on such agreements than virtually no offender can be booked.’ The apex court further noted, ‘Hardly, any offender would come under the clutches of law.’ Prem Kanwar, the father-in-law, was acquitted by the trial court.

Rajasthan High Court, however, reversed the order of the acquittal and held the appellant guilty of the killing of his daughter-in-law by setting her ablaze.

The apex court dismissed the appeal of the accused and held that as per section 3 and 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act both giving and taking dowry is an offence.

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