Whether the husband is liable for misappropriation of stri dhan property?
Stri dhan is a woman's sole and exclusive property, and anyone who misuses it, including her husband, is subject to a penalty under Indian law.
According to Hindu law, stri dhan refers to the customary presents given to the bride at the time of the wedding or afterwards. Stri dhan includes gifts presented by the mother, father, brother, sister, in-laws, and others during the bridal procession and as tokens of affection after the wedding.
A woman is the sole owner of all of these possessions, as stated in the law, and she has entire authority over how she utilizes them. A husband, on the other hand, is merely the custodian of all of these items and has no legal authority to utilize the stri dhan without his wife's approval.
Furthermore, if he utilizes the stri dhan for personal gain without his wife's consent, he could be prosecuted with breach of trust under section 405 or 406 IPC.
The High Court dismissed the proceedings in PRATIBHA RANI VS SURAJ KUMAR & ANR., ruling that the husband is also entitled to the wife's property and that the husband's use of it is not a criminal or civil offence.
The case was afterwards filed before the Supreme Court of India by the appellant. After reviewing the entire case, the Supreme Court overturned the High Court's decision and allows the case to continue. The court also issued an order summoning the husband if he had not already been summoned.
The Supreme Court ruled that the stri dhan belongs to a wife and that a husband has no right to utilize it without her permission. He may be the custodian of the property, but a husband cannot be the owner of the stri dhan.
We can deduce from the aforementioned decision that only the wife has the right to use stri dhan and that if the husband or his family and relatives use it for personal gain without the bride's agreement, it is an offence.
They may be penalised under section 405 and 406 of the Indian Penal Code for Criminal Breach of Trust.