Sealed on scroll

Legal Agreement

Couples in the City, especially those working in the IT sector, seem to be getting more and more insecure about their married life. Considering that their wives could allege dowry harassment, torture and abuse, a few men (whose marriage has been fixed) in the City have approached their lawyers to draft pre-marriage affidavits to be sworn on oath by them and their wives-to-be.

These pre-marriage affidavits are generally documents that lay bare, in black and white, all matters relating to dowry and marriage expenses and also declare that everything has been decided upon by mutual consent and none of it was imposed upon either party.

Owing to a large number of dowry harassment cases in the City, some false, some genuine, these men want to secure themselves on finance-related issues in matrimony.

This document comes in handy if ever their wives file a case of harassment on financial grounds. This becomes an evidence to prove that the whole case has been fabricated.

Siji MalayilSiji Malayil, a criminal advocate has had more than four couples walk up to him and ask that a document of a similar kind be made. He says they’re willing to pay any amount of money to get this made.

There’s so much of insecurity in the air that young couples feel anything could go wrong anytime. Gone are the days when a woman would put up with torture, either mental or physical and stay in a marriage. Today, women are willing to take that extreme step,” Siji says and adds that a lot of indirect issues could trigger a woman to allege dowry harassment including extra marital affairs, incompatibility and the craze for money.

Rajesh Kumar decided to get an affidavit made after his wife-to-be and he had a misunderstanding over financial matters. Their small squabbles brought in issues of dowry with each laying claim on the property and the wife demanding that a clear division be made in the property between husband and wife right at the start.

“We have made clear divisions in property but have decided to get an affidavit made to put things down in black and white so that any possible dispute is avoided,” says
Rajesh.

 Anand Rajput will be married in a month. He says he has never asked for a dowry and doesn’t want a single penny from the girl’s family but he’s keen on getting it documented.

“I would like to get an affidavit from the bride's father and the bride that we did not demand dowry and also we did not receive any,” says Anand, who thinks legal backing is the safest bet.

Sunitha Shetty agreed to sign such an agreement, because she thinks it’s better to take legal cover than have nothing to lean back upon in case of any kind of trouble in her marriage any time in the future.  

Counsellors are dead against such an agreement being made. They aver that marriage is a commitment between two people and not a contract of sorts. “It is the attitude of two people that counts for any marriage to be successful. I am sure despite such an agreement, people will continue to act funny,” reasons Pramila Dorerajan, marriage counsellor with the Family Welfare Centre.

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