Dowry related laws in India

Brief Study the British cast a disapproving eye on the practice of dowry. Indian social reformers also realized the malaise. Even before Independence, to curb the evil of dowry, the then provincial government of Sind passed an enactment known as the “Sind Deti Leti Act, 1939” to deal effectively with the evils of dowry.




This Act prohibited and set expressive limits for taking dowry, and also prescribed punishment for violating the provisions of the Act.

(Paras Diwan and P Diwan, Women and Legal Protection (Deep & Deep publication, 1994). After Independence the malady continued. Brides were ill-treated and tortured for not bringing or bringing insufficient dowry. What seemed to be stray cases of suicides or accidental deaths by explosion of kerosene stoves became suddenly explicable as dowry deaths. The anger and militant protests by a small group of women at a couple of such deaths snowballed into a campaign demanding legislation against it.
The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is a small penal statute consisting of only 10 sections. Punishment is prescribed both for taking and giving dowry(sec-3), and it was laid down that dowry, if given, was to be treated as a trust in favour of the bride for whose benefit it is given (sec-6).The offence was made non-compoundable, non-bailable and non-cognizable under the Act (Sec-8).The Central government was authorized to make rules for carrying out the purpose of the Act.(Under Art. 246(2) read with Art. 254(2) of the Indian constitution).

Dowry Deaths and Cruelty Section 498A

Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty. —Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation.

—For the purpose of this section, “cruelty” means—
(a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
(b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to
her to meet such demand.

Section 304B (Dowry Death)
1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called “dowry death”, and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death. Explanation. —For the purpose of this sub-section, “dowry” shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961).
2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Mayank Rai

Hi, My name is Mayank Rai. I found that Blogging is an easiest way to share your knowledge with everyone & learn something new from there. facebook telegram

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post