Laws prohibiting Dowry in India

Giving of dowry in the marriage of a daughter is an age-old practice in India perhaps because she had no right to inherit the parental property after her marriage under the old Hindu Law. Of late, the greed for acquiring more and more property in the form of dowry has reached a stage when married women are subjected to physical and mental torture by the husband or her in-laws for non-fulfillment of the demand of dowry by girls’ parents. Many a time this torture leads to unnatural death of the married woman or she is compelled by circumstances to commit suicide.

The endowment is a word that is extremely predominant and regular in Indian family units. It is a practice that has turned into a parasite for the Indian culture and which has dissolved the lovely foundation of marriage. It is not another practice but rather has been taken after from ages, and its effect is such in Indian culture that one can attempt endeavors to decrease it, however, it can't be completely destroyed. A few laws have been ordered to preclude the act of endowment, yet the lawful grasps are weaker than the ambit of the act of settlement. Further, the article should specify the social and legitimate outcomes of rehearsing endowment alongside its different angles.

What Will Be The Share?

As indicated by segment 2 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, the expression "endowment" implies any property or important security given or consented to be given either straightforwardly or in a roundabout way.

(a) By one gathering to a marriage to the next gathering to the marriage, or

(b) By the guardian of either gathering to a marriage or by some other individual, to either gathering to the marriage or to some other individual, at or before [or at whatever time after the marriage] [in association with the marriage of the said gatherings, yet does not include] dower or mahr on account of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat).

In Arjun DhondibaKamble v. Condition of Maharashtra, the court held that "Settlement" in the feeling of the expression thought about by Dowry Prohibition Act is an interest for property of profitable security having an inseparable nexus with the marriage, i.e., it is a thought from the side of the lady's guardians or relatives to the lucky man or his guardians and/or watchman for the consent to marry the lady to-be. In any case, where the interest for property or important security has no association with the thought of the marriage, it won't sum to an interest for share.

In Rajeev v. RamKishan Jaiswal, the court held that any property given by folks of the lady need not be in light of the marriage, it can even be regarding the marriage and would constitute endowment.


Who might be a wrongdoer under the law?

As indicated by area3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, it is an offense to both take endowment and give the share. So the group of husband would be obligated for taking share so would the group of lady be to agree to give settlement.

DowryPicture Courtesy-PTI

Legitimate system in India for precluding endowment

EndowmentProhibition Act, 1961

  • Punishment for giving and taking endowment (Section 3) – According to area 3, if any individual after the initiation of the Act gives or takes, abets the giving or taking of share should be rebuffed with a detainment for a term at the very least five years and with fine which might not be under fifteen thousand rupees or the measure of the estimation of settlement, whichever is more.
  • Penalty for requesting share (area 4) – According to segment 4, if any individual specifically or by implication requests settlement from the folks, relatives or gatekeepers of the lady or the spouse should be rebuffed with a detainment of the very least six months and which might reach out to two years and with fine which might stretch out to ten thousand rupees.
  • The Supreme Court has held in Pandurang Shivram Kawathkar v. Condition of Maharashtra that the simple interest of share before marriage is an offense.
    In Bhoora Singh v.Condition of Uttar Pradesh, the court held that the expired had before being determined to flame by her in-laws composed a letter to her dad that she was by and large abused, bugged and undermined with desperate results for-fulfillment of interest of endowment. Along these lines, an offense of requesting share under segment 4 had been submitted.
  • Ban on notice(segment 4-A) – According to segment 4-A, the commercial in any daily paper,diary or through whatever other medium or an offer in the property, business,cash, and so on by any individual in thought for marriage might be rebuffed with a detainment which should not be under six months and which might stretch out to five years or with fine which might reach out to fifteen thousand rupees.
  • Cognizance ofoffence– According to area 7, a judge not beneath the rank of a metropolitan magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of First Class should attempt an offense under this Act. The court should take discernment of the offense just on the report by the casualty, the folks or relative of the casualty, police report or all alone information of the actualities of the offense.
  • According to area8 certain offenses under this Act might be cognizable, non-bailable and-compoundable.

Indian Penal Code, 1860

  •  Dowry Death (area304 B)- Section 304(B) peruses as takes after-
  1. Where the demise of a lady is brought about by any blazes or real harm or happens generally than under ordinary circumstances inside of seven years of her marriage and it is demonstrated that soon before her passing she was subjected to savagery or badgering by her spouse or any relative of her spouse for, or regarding, any interest for endowment, such demise might be called "share passing" and such spouse or relatives should be considered to have created her demise.
    Clarification – For the motivations behind this sub area, "share" might have the same importance as in segment 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
  2. Whoever submits endowment passing might be rebuffed with detainment for a term which should not be under seven years but rather which might stretch out to detainment forever.

In VemuriVenkateshwara Rao v. Condition of Andhra Pradesh, the court has set out the accompanying rule for setting up an offense under area 304(B) and they are-

  1. That there is an interest of share and badgering by the denounced,
  2. That the perished had kicked the bucket,
  • That the demise is under unnatural circumstances. Since there was interest for share and provocation and passing inside of 7 years of marriage, alternate things consequently take after and an offense under area 304-B is demonstrated.Husband or relative of spouse subjecting ladies to pitilessness (segment 498-A) – Section498-A peruses as takes after-

Husband or relative the of the spouse of a lady subjecting her to pitilessness Whoever, being the spouse the relatives of the spouse of a lady, subject such lady to mercilessness might be rebuffed with detainment for a term which might reach out to three years and should likewise be obligated to fine.

Clarification – For the motivation behind this area "savagery" implies –

  1. Any obstinate behavior which is of such a nature as is liable to drive the lady to submit suicide or to bring about grave harm or risk to life, appendage or well-being(whether mental or physical) of the lady, or
  2. Harassment of the lady where such provocation is with a perspective to forcing her or any individual identified with her to take care of any unlawful demand for any property or significant security or is because of disappointment by her or any individual identified with her to take care of such demand

In Bhoora Singh v.State, it was held that the spouse and in-laws subjected the wife the cold-bloodedness for bringing deficient settlement lastly torched her, along these lines welcoming a sentence of three years through detainment and a fine of Rs.500/ - for an offense submitted under area 498-An of Indian Penal Code.

Indian Evidence Act, 1872

  • Presumption as to endowment passing (Section 113 B) – Section 113 B peruses as takes after-

At the point when the inquiry is whether a man has conferred settlement passing of a lady and it is demonstrated that soon before her demise such lady had been subjected by such individual to cold-bloodedness or badgering for, or regarding, any interest for share, the court might assume that such individual had brought about the endowment passing.

Clarification – For the motivation behind this segment "settlement passing" might have the same importance as in segment, 304B of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).

Social shades of malice of settlement

The act of share has numerous evil consequences for society and has disintegrated the excellent establishment of marriage to a minor contract of giving and taking of cash and significant resources in return for marriage. A couple of social disasters which the act of share bring along itself are-

  • Female foeticide–Even today, when there is such a variety of for precluding female foeticide laws yet the measurements of the same are considerably more to one's desires.One of the main motivations behind this practice is the possibility that if a female youngster is conceived then she would end up being a weight on the exchequer of her guardians as a ton would need to be spent in her marriage.Consequently, individuals think that it's better to annihilate the foundation of the issue "Female Child".
  • Suicide by YoungGirls– Many times when the folks are not ready to offer their little girls as a result of the endowment, this acquires provocation to the family which drives the young ladies to submit suicide to convey a conclusion to the mental badgering to their families.
  • Uneducation togirls– Many families don't give great instruction to their little girls with considered sparing the cash being utilized for training to be utilized with the end goal of settlement.
  • Often the young ladies are subjected to mental provocation on account of them being of dull shading, fat or whatever other need in physical appearance on the grounds that the folks or the relatives imagine that to wed them off a considerable measure of endowment would need to be given and their consistent insults and articulations rationally disturb the young ladies as well as acquire them a feeling of inadequacy.

Abuse of share laws by ladies

There are constantly two sides of a coin; likewise, every law has its utilization and also abuse.The counter share laws have turned out to be a panacea for ladies in the meantime they have likewise ended up being to be a disturbance for men. Not all settlement cases documented by ladies are genuine and in more than 40% cases recorded; the assertions made by ladies are false.

The two-judge seat of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad as of late in a 21-page request said that the easiest approach to irritate the spouse is to get him and his relatives arrested.

The Judges expressed an eminent point that much of the time the out of commission granddads and amazing moms of the spouses, their sisters living abroad

The Judges expressed a remarkable point that by and large the laid up granddads and stupendous moms of the spouses, their sisters living abroad for quite a long time are arrested.

The judges likewise reminded the powers that they should take after an alleged nine-point agenda that has been a piece of the counter endowment law before taking note of down a share related complaint.

The court likewise said that on the off chance that the police makes a capture, a justice must favor assisting detainment of the accused.

As per the National Crime RecordsBureau measurements, about 200,000 individuals, including 47,951 ladies, were captured as to endowment offenses in 2012, however, just 15% of the blamed were convicted.

DowryPicture Courtesy-Siasat


From the above we can conclude that "Share" as a practice is profoundly established in Indian culture, and it can't be completely destroyed.The significant reason that this practice can't be destroyed is the attitude, though, and mentality of Indians. In India, a kid is made exceptionally taught with the goal that folks can request a colossal endowment for him in the marriage. The more instructed the man is, and the more steady his money related circumstance is, the more he gets an endowment. Additionally, the folks of young ladies will teach them a ton so they can wed her to a rich family. They are not reluctant in giving endowment since this practice has now turned into a custom and in spite of numerous laws, not very many rates of guilty parties are indicted. This social malice must be killed when there would be an adjustment in the mindset of the general population. At the point when individuals may comprehend that giving and taking share is similar to offering your little girl's and children might be from that point the basis of the practice would begin disintegrating, and the practice should get completely annihilated however that period is by all accounts exceptionally distant.