DOWRY PROHIBITION BY KANIKA BHATIA

    • Definition of `dowry’.

In this act, `dowry’ means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly:

    • by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage; or
    • by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person;at or before or any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage of said parties but does not include dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies.

Dowry Prohibition Act, indian law enacted on May 1, 1961, intended to prevent the giving or receiving of a dowry Under the Dowry Prohibition Act, dowry includes property, goods, or money given by either party to the marriage, by the parents of either party, or by anyone else in connection with the marriage. The Dowry Prohibition Act applies to persons of all religions in India.

The original text of the Dowry Prohibition Act was widely judged to be ineffective in curbing the practice of dowry. Moreover, specific forms of violence against women continued to be linked to a failure to meet dowry demands. As a result, the legislation underwent subsequent amendment. In 1984, for example, it was changed to specify that presents given to a bride or a groom at the time of a wedding are allowed. The law required, however, that a list be maintained describing each gift, its value, the identity of the person giving it, and the person’s relation to either party to the marriage. The act and relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code were further amended to protect female victims of dowry-related violence. Another layer of legal protection was provided in 2005 under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

Amendments to the original Dowry Prohibition Act also established minimum and maximum punishments for giving and receiving dowry and created a penalty for demanding dowry or advertising offers of money or property in connection with a marriage. The Indian Penal Code was also modified in 1983 to establish specific crimes of dowry-related cruelty, dowry death, and abetment of suicide. These enactments punished violence against women by their husbands or their relatives when proof of dowry demands or dowry harassment could be shown.

SOME OF THE POWER OF GOVERNMENT TO MAKE RULES:

The State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:

      • the additional functions to be performed by the Dowry Prohibition Officers under sub-section(2) of Sec. 8-B;
      • limitations and conditions subject to which a Dowry Prohibition Officer may exercise his functions under sub-section (3) of Sec. 8-B.

(3) Every rule made by the State Government under this section shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made before the State Legislature.

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