Exchange of expensive gifts and jewellery items during wedding marriage ceremonies are liable to taxmen scrutiny, said a city court. It also said that immovable assets as gifts would require mandatory authentic registration.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau said, “Pricey gifts given to relatives, which do not fall within the definition of Stridhan (gift items received by girl) are taxable in the hands of the recipient.” Citing a dowry complaint, the judge said it is important for families of both the bride and the groom to divulge their revenue books to the taxmen.

The court said anti-dowry laws have been reduced to “paper tigers”.

“Dowry has become an avenue to bury black money during marriage ceremonies,” said Lau.

“It is necessary to ensure that due inquiry and investigations are conducted not only with regard to the source of income of the person giving dowry, but also as to whether these transactions are duly reflected in the Wealth Tax returns of both,” she added.

Presiding over a case of an estranged couple, in which the wife was appealing against the order passed by a trial court, Lau observed that incidents of abuse of special provisions of dowry harassment law has become the trend.

The trial court in October 2009 had ordered registration of an FIR against the wife and her family for giving dowry at her wedding. The groom had filed a complaint saying his wife had wilfully admitted of giving gifts and money to his family.

The additional sessions judge quashed the wife’s plea seeking to cancel the criminal proceedings initiated against her family. An FIR was registered against her family following the complaint by her husband, who is facing dowry harassment charges.

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