what is a dowry death

Dowry Death (Section 304-B)

  1. Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven-year 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.
  2. Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven-year but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Explanation
For the purpose of this sub-section, Dowry shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the dowry prohibition act, 1961.

Essential Ingredients

  1. The death of a woman should be caused by burns or bodily injury nor otherwise under normal circumstances.
  2. Death should have occurred within 7 years of her marriage.
  3. The woman must have been subjected to cruelty or harassments by her husband or any relative of her husband.
  4. Such cruelty or harassments should be or in connection with, any demand for dowry.
  5. Such cruelty or harassment should have been subjected soon before her death.
  6. It the death of women caused under the above circumstance, the husband and husband’s relative will be presumed to have caused a dowry death and be liable for the offences unless it is proved otherwise.

Punishment

Under section 304-B (2) of IPC Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 7 yrs. but which may extend to imprisonment for life.
Classification of Offence
The offence U/s 304-B is

 

  • Cognizable
  • Nonbailable
  • Non- compoundable
  • Tribal by Court of Session
    Â

Dowry Death and Evidence Act, 1872

Section 113-B presumption as to dowry death

When the question is whether a person has committed the dowry death of a woman and it is shown that soon before her death such woman had been subjected by such person to cruelty or harassment for, or in connection with any demand for dowry. The court shall presume that such a person had caused the dowry death.

Case Laws

 

  • Hansraj V. State of Punjab
    In this case, SC held that the term normal circumstances apparently means not by natural death.
  • Rameshwar Das V. State of Punjab, 2008
    In this case, Sc held that pregnant women, the woman would not commit suicide unless the relationship with her husband comes to such a passed that she would be compelled to do so, accused is liable to be convicted on the failure to prove his defence.

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