Allegations of a demand for dowry cannot be called improbable merely because a divorce petition is pending between the couple, the Supreme Court has observed, according to a Bar and Bench report on Sunday.

The court made the observation while hearing the petition of a woman challenging an order of the Allahabad High Court which had quashed criminal proceedings against her husband.

The High Court, in May 2019, had granted relief to the husband saying that allegations that he demanded dowry were improbable as the wife was suffering from AIDS and a divorce petition was also pending between the two, according to The New Indian Express.

However, a Supreme Court bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar termed the High Court’s order as erroneous.

“Merely because the wife was suffering from the disease or divorce petition was pending, it cannot be said that the allegations of demand of dowry were highly/inherently improbable and the said proceedings can be said to be bogus proceedings,” the bench said, according to Bar and Bench.

The bench also noted that the High Court overlooked the fact that a chargesheet had already been filed against the husband.

“Once the charge sheet was filed after the cannot be said that the prosecution was bogus,” the court said. “Under the circumstances, the impugned judgment and order passed by the High Court quashing the criminal proceedings is unsustainable.”