What is the law for Dowry in India? - The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961Subscribe

Every day, many women die because of not being able to pay their dowry. Who knew marriage, a symbol of sacredness, could become a fetter for some women? Marriage is supposed to be a beautiful bond between the two. When the couples tie the knot and register themselves as married, they also take vows to be with each other in thick and thin times. But sometimes, things don't turn out to be how they are supposed to be. Dowry is one of the heinous crimes. In India, almost every now and then, women die because of Dowry, or let's put it the right way, they get murdered.  

India reports the highest dowry death. But why does it happen? Maybe because we still live with preconceived notions and some stereotypical gruesome rituals are engraved in our minds. It shouldn't be hard to break the spine of such disgusting activities, especially in a democratic country. Dowry's death is not only grisly for one family but for the whole society too. The place where we live, the partner we vow to share our lives with, should not be an entertaining such absurdity.

What is Dowry? 

Dowry is a payment made by the bride's family to the groom & his family. Things like money, property, cars and other expensive items are given to the groom's family. Just in any wedding, exchanges of gifts are pretty normal; however, if things go beyond the borderline, that's when things get bizarre. Parents who can't afford to give anything to the groom's family face humiliation for the rest of their lives or occasionally fulfill their needs and eventually lose their daughter. 

After marriage, women have to deal with the brutality of their parents failing to fulfill the groom's desires. From verbal abuse, sexual abuse and physical abuse to torture and murder, women go through it all just to keep the integrity of their family intact and save the marriage. However, considering the gruesome reality of women in India due to Dowry, the Prohibition of Dowry Act of 1961 was enacted. To protect women from money-eating monsters, the Indian government enacted laws hoping to bring change to society. 

What does the Prohibition of Dowry Act 1961 say? 

Prohibition of the Dowry Act of 1961 was enacted to prohibit giving and receiving dowry. 

Penalty for dowry: After the commencement of this Act, if any person directly or indirectly demands dowry from the parents or the Guardian of a bride, they shall be imprisoned for up to six months with a fine. 

Agreement of Dowry: Any giving and receiving dowry agreement shall be considered void under this Act. 

Considering that there's an elevation of dowry deaths happening in the country, besides the Dowry Prohibition Act, section 304 B was added to the Indian Penal Code. 

According to section 304 B of IPC - 

(1) Where a woman has died due to any burns or bodily injury that occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage, and it is proven 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." The husband of the deceased or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.

(2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be imprisoned for a term that shall not be less than seven years but may extend to imprisonment for life.

Hence, Dowry is a criminal offence according to Indian law and shall not be entertained at any cost. 

The offence registered under section 304B is Non-Bailable.

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