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Laws prohibiting Dowry in India


Laws prohibiting Dowry in India

Dowry culture is quite common among Indians; during girl's marriage, parents give gifts to groom while Kanyadaan or Varadakshina. In the ancient era, it was like gifting household accessories or clothes to girls. But with the passage of time, this dowry system is widely spreading everywhere all around the world. It is like a status symbol to give or take dowry.

Groom's or bride's families take it as pride by spending money on their children's wedding. Due to this middle class or poor families suffer a lot. Some people take a loan for their girl's marriage as they do not have a sufficient amount of money for buying expensive items like cars and all.


Prohibiting dowry system is the only solution to get rid of ridiculous demands of groom’s family. In the last few years, we have heard certain cases, where girls are harassed by their in-laws for dowry. The mental and physical torture by in-laws is not acceptable in any case. Hence it was mandatory for the government to take legal actions so that it can save the lives of girls.

What is dowry act all about?

In India, the ratio of victim women was increasing rapidly, so it was important to take strict against the groom's family. So by looking at the petition of victim families, it was compulsory to stop it before it gets too late. There are certain points which are considered under it such as:
  • Dowry Prohibition Act was started on 1st May 1961. According to this, the government can give punishment to those if there is any petition filed against giving dowry.
  • The items which are counted as dowry are property, cash, goods, or any type of demand. If these types of requirements are made by groom; then a strict punishment is there.
  • No one can demand the property of girls which is rightfully hers. Its bride wills to receive or give their share to siblings.

Amendment was designed under this Dowry Prohibition Act. After going through the petition minimum or maximum punishments are there for accused party.

In 1983, modification was made by the Indian Penal Code in Dowry Prohibition Act. In this certain cases are calculated such as
  • Dowry-related mental and physical violence
  • Dowry death
  • Abetment of suicide
Muskan an NGO, is especially looking forward, so that people can raise their voice against dowry harassment. The violence against women needs strict actions, so punishment was designed for husbands. In case other family members are involved in this then equal punishments are made for dowry harassment or any demand.

According to the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961:
  1. 1.       (Section 3) Punishment for taking and giving dowry:
According to section 3, if anyone gives or takes dowry then it will be punished; it is like imprisonment for at least 5 years or more. If anyone supports dowry system then they will also be thrown into jail. Along with this fine of Rupees, fifteen thousand or value of dowry is mandate.

According to the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

  1. 2.       (Section 4) Penalty on demanding dowry:
In the case of dowry demand, directly or indirectly from husband or parents, a special amendment takes place in 1983. Moreover according to it if guardians or relatives are involved in this then imprisonment for them is about six months. Moreover, in case of any physical harassment, it can extend which is around 2- years with a penalty. Hence we can say that special laws are there, for the security of women.
These sections are quite worthful, but for this it is important to understand laws prohibiting dowry in India. In this you can work with Muskan an NGO, so that can save lives of victims.