Definition of Stridhan:
Section 14 of the Hindu
Succession Act, 1956 states that:
of a female Hindu to be her absolute property-
property possessed by a female Hindu, whether acquired before or after the
commencement of this Act, shall be held by her as full owner thereof and not as
a limited owner.
In this sub-section, "property" includes both movable and immovable property
acquired by a female Hindu by inheritance or devise, or at a partition, or in
lieu of maintenance or arrears of maintenance, or by gift from any person,
whether a relative or not, before, at or after her marriage, or by her own
skill or exertion, or by purchase or by prescription, or in any other manner
whatsoever, and also any such property held by her as Stridhana immediately
before the commencement of this Act.
contained in sub-section (1) shall apply to any property acquired by way of
gift or under a will or any other instrument or under a decree or order of a
civil court or under an award where the terms of the gift, will or other
instrument or the decree, order or award prescribe a restricted estate in such
property possessed by a Hindu female acquired before or after commencement of
the Act, as absolute owner.
property includes both movable and immovable property.
Hindu female may acquire the property by-
or devise; or
of maintenance or arrears of maintenance; or
form of gift; or
own skill or exertion; or
from any person need not be a relative before, at or after the
any property acquired by way of-
under a Will;
other instrument; or
decree or order of a Civil Court; or
where the terms of the gift, will or other instrument or the decree,
order or award prescribe a restricted estate in such property will not be
considered as Stridhan under Section 14 (1) of the Act.
Section 405 and 406 of the
Indian Penal Code provides the penal provisions in respect to Stridhan. These Sections
apply in cases where Dowry and traditional presents are made to the wife or
entrusted to her husband or in-laws at the time of marriage (which would be
considered as Stridhan). In case her husband or in-laws refuse to give it back
to her on her demand this would amount to criminal breach of trust.
defines Criminal Breach of Trust as-
being in any manner entrusted with property, or with any dominion over
property, dishonestly misappropriates or converts to his own use that property,
or dishonestly uses or disposes of that property in violation of any direction
of law prescribing the mode in which such trust is to be discharged, or of any
legal contract, express or implied, which he has made touching the discharge of
such trust, or wilfully suffers any other person so to do, commits "criminal
breach of trust"."
of Indian Penal Code deals with the Punishment
for criminal breach of trust.
commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either
description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with
1. Rashmi Kumar v. Mahesh Kummar Bhada, Judgement dated 18 December 1996
The Hon'ble Supreme Court has explained the
term Stridhan in this Landmark case. Stridhan includes properties gifted to a
girl before marriage, at the time of marriage or thereafter and that it shall
be her absolute properties with all rights to dispose of at her own will and
pleasure. It does not become joint property with her husband and he may use it
during time of distress and he has moral obligation to restore it. This decisions
of Supreme Court stringent the absolute right of women over Stridhan, which
cannot be disposed of or applied by the husband or his relatives for their
2. Krishna Bhatacharjee vs Sarathi Choudhury and Anr, Judgement dated 20 November 2015
In this case the Supreme Court
observed that the concept of 'continuing offence' gets attracted from the date
of deprivation of Stridhan, for neither the husband nor any other family
members can have any right over the Stridhan and they remain the custodians.
3. Pratibha Rani vs Suraj Kumar, 1985 S.C. 628
In this case the Apex Court held that if any item of Stridhan is entrusted to the husband or
in-laws at the time of marriage (which would be considered as Stridhan) and in
case her husband or in-laws refuse to give it back to her on her demand they
would be guilty of criminal breach of trust under Section 405 of IPC.
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