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Definition Of Dowry :- Dowry or Dahej is the payment in cash or/and kind by the bride's family to the bridegroom' s family along with the giving away of the bride ( called Kanyadaan) in Indian marriage . Kanyadanam is an important part of Hindu marital rites. Kanya means daughter, and dana means gift. Dowry originated in upper caste families as the wedding gift to the bride from her family. The dowry was later given to help with marriage expenses and became a form of insurance in the case that her in -laws mistreated her. Although the dowry was legally prohibited in 1961, it continues to be highly institutionalized. The groom often demands a dowry consisting of a large sum of money, farm animals, furniture, and electronics. The practice of dowry abuse is rising in India. The most severe in ³bride burning´, the burning of women whose dowries were not considered sufficient by their husband or in-laws. Most of these incidents are reported as accidental burns in the kitchen or are disguised as suicide. It is evident that there exist deep rooted prejudices against women in India. Cultural practices such as the payment of dowry tend to subordinate women in Indian society. Though prohibited by law in 1961, the extraction of DOWRY from the bride's family prior to marriage still occurs. When the dowry amount is not considered sufficient or is not forthcoming, the bride is often harassed, abused and made miserable. This abuse can escalate to the point where the husband or his family burn the bride, often by pouring kerosene on her and lighti ng it, usually killing her. The official records of these incidents are low because they are often reported as accidents or suicides by the family. In Delhi, a woman is burned to death almost every twelve hours . The number of dowry murders is increasing. In 1988, 2,209 women were killed in dowry related incidents and in 1990, 4,835 were killed . It is important to reiterate that these are official records, which are immensely under reported. The lack of official registration of this crime is apparent in Delhi, where ninety percent of cases of women burnt were recorded as accidents, five percent as suicide and only the remaining five percent were shown as murder .
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According to Government figures there were a total of 5,377 dowry deaths in 1993, an increase of 12% from 1992. Despite the existence of rigorous laws to prevent dowry-deaths under a 1986 amendment to the Indian Penal Code (IPC), convictions are rare, and judges (usually men) are often uninterested and susceptible to bribery. Recent newspaper report s have focused on the alarming rate of deaths of married women in Hamirpur, Mandi and Bilaspur districts in the state of Himachal Pradesh.
WHY IS DOWRY PREVALENT IN INDIA?
I think we can all agree that dowry deaths are a social stigma that India should get rid off. We cannot be seen as a progressive society if so many young women are killed because their husbands and in -laws are unhappy with the dowry they have received (some chilling statistics here and here on the number of reported dowry deaths). Even if the real numbers are significantly larger, they would still represent a tiny fraction of India¶s population. But, it would be incorrect to conclude that this a practice that affects only a few. For the effect of dowry is not felt sol ely by the victims (and families of victims) of dowry deaths and harassment, but by the entire society. Dowry is a manifestation of a greater social evil, one where women are thought of as a burden first on her parents and later on her husband and in -laws. Hence, the groom¶s family is supposed to be compensated by the bride¶s parents for taking this burden of their shoulders. Such a practice that stems from a belief that roughly half the population of the country is not equal to the other half is definitely detrimental for society, both from humanitarian and economic points of view. From an economic perspective, it is high sub -optimal when one half of the population is not allowed to contribute to the country¶s economic growth. Why then is dowry prevalent in India despite being illegal since 1961? This practice seems to ignore the borders of religion, caste, state, education and wealth. There might be an inverse correlation between education levels of the bride and likelihood of her family giving dowry (or li ke Levitt and Dubner suggested in Superfreakonomics, between spread of cable television and domestic abuse in India). But there are enough cases in each of our personal lives that show that television and education alone are not enough to do away with the practice of dowry. Not convinced, then ask yourself how you react when you hear of someone in your family or friends circle, asking or giving dowry. Do you cajole, berate and
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People who take dowry believe that it is their right because they are taking on someone else¶s liability. Indian society continues to view women as a liability. do so because they don¶t w ant to be seen as rebelling against traditions or because they feel that it improves their social stature. There YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 3 . 3. Increasing the minimum age of marriage for men and women to 24. This will do wonders for our population growth rate as well. and people who give dowry feel they need to pay compensation for passing on their liability to someone else. who ask for dowry. People. People. ii. At the hear t of this is the feeling that women are not breadwinners. iii. b. Marriage is a union of two people and not a contract between families. Getting rid of the scourge of dowry requires a multi -pronged approach. More awareness campaigns on how the entire society suffers if one family accepts dowry. 4. And here are some unconventional ideas that might be a little tougher to implement: a. Here are some conventional approaches that many are trying: i. 2. People who see it happening will look the other way even if they disagree with the practice. This is because they don¶t realize that dowry is an e xternality for which they too are sharing the cost. Better enforcement of the law. who give dowry. The reasons that I can see for dowry being so prevalent are that: 1. are sure they can get away with it from the law and that there will be no societal sanctions imposed against them.threaten until we convince them or do you choose to look the other way and say. Encourage more youngsters to date and find their own spouses (preferably outside their own community) instead of relying on arranged ma rriages. More opportunities for women of all strata and education backgrounds t o become financially independent. ³We are like this only´? Most of us (if we are being honest with ourselves) will answer that we turn a blind eye to dowry when we see it happening in front of us.
. the giving and taking of dowry continues to be a part of contemporary reality. 2006. India: 50 Years On.. more chillingly. This can be done by offering cheap housing to those starting out in life.and in many South Asian countries . So where are we going wrong? Maybe the legal system is at fault. or. c. This way.. Even today. beaten. In spite of the law that criminalizes the custom in no uncertain terms. property. the wife". 1961. they are not a burden on anyone but each other. to prevent the giving and taking of "any property or valuable security given . Encourage young couples to move out of their joint family house after marriage. Neighbourhood watch programs (like in the US to keep crime and drugs out of the neighbourhood) could help law enforcement agencies by educating their neighbourhood on the evils of dowry and reporting anyone who indulges in dowry. In India .. The r esult is there for all to see. while the b irth of a girl is quietly pushed under the 'chatai' (mat) or 'charpai' (cot). the birth of a boy is heralded with drums being beaten and sweets being distributed. The law was meant to protect women from this pernicious practice that denigrates them and assesses their value in monetary terms.. indicated a YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 4 . in many parts of the country. jewellery. or when it finally consumes and destroys its ultimate victim. Vimochana.could be some government subsidies given to people who marry outside their community. a subject of moral outrage only when the girl's family finally collapses under the weight of the incessant demands for more money. Dowry Is Still With Us by Nandini Rao It has been almost five decades since India passed the Dowry Prohibition Act. the very institution of marriage and family that che apens women's lives. a Bangalore-based women's organization. in countless media stories of married women emotionally and mentally harassed. burnt and murdered for dowry. The National Family Health Survey-3 (NFHS-3) of India. In its concept note for the India Court of Women on Dowry and Related Forms of Violence Against Women. noted "Dowry .. is publicly condemned but privately condoned and practiced.the die is cast from the moment a child is born.more material goods. d. at or before or any time after the marriage" of two parties.
work more. In other words. dowry transactions have got even more com mercialized.. from a very early age.. Legislation to YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 5 . even this is denied to her. ". Different sections (from within the women's movement) have constructed the birth and survival of the practice through different perspectives. cautions against an overtly facile understanding of the phenomenon. gives rise to unreasonable expectations. a girl is taught to "sacrifice" her personal well being in the name of her family and learn that she is the custodian of the ' izzat' or honor of the clan. women have no choice but to accept it or . pointing to the complexities of the practice. Irrational demands are often placed on her family before. With economic liberalization and the globalised market place. at 921:1000 (as opposed to 934:1000 in 2001). In its info-pack. In return. "Marching Together: Resisting Dowry in India" (2009). economics. Violence can easily become an inevitable part of a scenario where the superiority of the man is acknowledged and the inferiority of the woman reinforced at every turn.adjust to it. 41 per cent women have no education at all (as opposed to 22 per cent men). participate in childcare and rearing and still stay healthy in the process . a women's organization based in Delhi. caste. her alienation is complete.to use the ubiquitous and very Indian express ion . Being a caretaker of the 'izzat' of the family and.decline in child sex ratio (0-6 years) for rural areas. it may be too simplistic to attribute its dogged survival only to an atavistic culture . The NFHS-3 data indicates that in the age group of 15 -49 years. the bride is expected to get the "protection" of the man who she has married. Each of these strands intersect.. but they are required to be entertained since the bridegroom's relatives always have the upper hand in all matrimonial dealings. Today the giving and taking of dowry has been criminalized. A woman is expected to accept her new reality unquestioningly. Girls are expected to eat less. at the time of and even after the wedding. The notion of marriages being made in heaven is often heard in India. it observes. The patriarchal practice of relocating a woman after marriage in a different setting is the easiest way to disorient her and if the marital family is hostile.. by extension. while increasing consumerism has given dowry a different dimension. The root cause of many of the injustices and inequalities In dian women face today can be traced to this code. Since this relationship is divinely ordained. of the community. Often. However Jagori. tradition. They also raise a question mark on adopting legal redressal as the sole mechanism for fighting dowry". hypergamy and ritual superiority. resulting in a complex weave of multiple layers woven through culture.
2010 YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 6 . According to demographic and health surveys. March 7. Sections 304B and 498A (of the Indian Penal Code) and the Protection of Women against Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA). when society accepts that marriage is a woman's choice and not her destiny. spousal violence also extends to women who have 12 or more years of education. 2005. from the menace of domestic violence and dowry harassment. Yet women continue to hesitate to file complaints because they are worried about the social repercussions of such a move for their families and themselv es. br /> According to NFHS-3 data. However. However. it seems. cases of dowry deaths and cruelty by husbands and their relatives only constitute about 21 per cent of "Violent Crimes" and "Crimes against Women".protect women against domestic abuse and violence include the Dowry Prohibition Act. This fairly low estimation makes one wonder how many women victims of dowry harassment fall between the cracks of the criminal justice system or opt out of it altogether. with 12 per cent reporting violence.2 per cent increase in the rate of cases filed under dowry deaths. Going by these figures no woman is really safe. socially. class or community backgrounds. accept women as equal partners within the family? It is only when a woman is seen as being "complete" in herself. religious. will the crim e of dowry even begin to get addressed. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2007 statistics show that from 2006-2007 there was a 6. one in every five women has faced domestic violence in her life. married women with no education are much more likely (46 per cent) than other women to have suffered spousal violence. economically and culturally. irrespective of caste. Fear of the financial consequences is also a dissuading factor and things are further complicated if they happen to have children. So who is responsible for ending this violence? When will we start saying "dowry murders" rather than "dowry deaths"? When will Indian society. Finally the patriarchal mindset within the judicial system that often forces a compromise even if it means that the affected woman ends up going back to the very situation of violence she was trying to flee.
is still considered an important aspect of the majority of Indian marriages. the prices of dowries have soared as a result of the new benchmarks for quality of life modern Western society has set. 2010Posted in: Featured. News By: A. whether it be the poorest to the richest. an issue has arisen that affects the caste system from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich: the material value of dowries. In the mainstream Indian culture. called µDahej¶. The payment of monies and/or land. The increasing ratio of men to women in India¶s populous has been discussed as a masculine problem although almost no attention has been focused on the major area that has caused this imbalance of genders in the Indian culture: dowries. furniture as well as other assets of the bride¶s family. called Kanyadaan. Thomas As India qui ly emerges into a world power. along with the bride. but the feminine gender contained in each of those castes.The Acceptable Abuse: Women and Dowries in India B neonort Published: January 20. even though the practice of dahej YASH JAI R LL NO 70 F P 7 .B. so much so that instead of being pushed aside as Western materialistic and monetary expectations turn the cultural expectations from the spiritual to the secular. the dowry. The tradition of dowries is strong in India. Estimates place the ratio of women at eight for every 10 men in India. animals. a married man is considered an elevation in the man¶s status within his community. The largest sector in India to have felt the brunt of this increase are not the castes.
With the universality of foetal technology access such as ultrasounds. According to one social agency. Although it is illegal for a doctor to tell the woman what the sex of the baby is in India. in Delhi a woman is burned to death almost every twelve hours. This has led to a secondary lucrative business in India. it is worthy of being national news no matter how small of a town she comes from. in its severest form of showing dissatisfaction. whether out of true concern for the welfare of the women or for the price of a bribe. The struggle for women in India begins before they are born. so does the costs to the bride¶s family as to what is acceptable for a dahej. called µbride burning¶. It is estimated that this is approximately a mere five percent of the incidences that have actually occurred are called murder. As India¶s wealth and status in the world climbs. women are made to suffer for the µsins¶ of their families. whether they actually know the sex or not. The actions taken towards those women can be anywhere from harassment or abuse. The poorest of p regnant women and their families will give all that they can in order to have these tests made in order to determine the sex of the child the woman is carrying. social and psychological implosion. families do not look at girls as blessings to their numbers. Having two. Many families will celebrate the birth of a son but will mourn for the birth of a baby girl as the family sees not what a baby girl will bring to the lives of that family. in India it is estimated that almost 1. Orphanages in India are stocked with a large number of girls who have been abandoned by their families on the orphanage¶s door steps or simply left at the side of a road with the know ledge that they were not tossed aside because of who they are but for what their future will cost their families. If the amount of the dahej is considered insufficient by the bridegroom¶s family. th e nurses. but the cost that baby will bring to the family in the future. with the majority of burnt brides classified as accidents or suicides by the family. the cost to women yet to marry is as treacherous. Though the price some married women pay to have the honoured title of µwife¶ would appear high. emotional. In North America or Europe. to having kerosene poured on the woman then set alight. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 8 . when a little girl goes missing. or if the bride¶s family is remiss on payment of the dahej.000. often will tell the woman the sex of the baby. an entire new lucrative career has opened up in India.000 g irls and women have disappeared yet little is said about this statistic. The cost of the dahej does not end for some women once the marriage has begun.377 were reported as such in 1993.was legally prohibited in 1961 by the Indian government. 5. The families feel µburdened¶ by having daughters to disconsolateness. While accurate records are not kept by the Indian government on the number of µbride burning¶ incidences. It takes marrying off only one daughter to destroy the average Indian family¶s savings. three or more daughters guarantees that family¶s economic.
but still remains prevalent in our society with all its strength. There are two questions that come to mind when looks at the custom of dahej. At what point will the men of India decide that the percentage of available women to marry is far enough below the average to create a handicap to marriage. It shows the crude difference between theory and reality. having a daughter as they know that they have to accumulate a significant amount of money as dowry to be give n during their daughter¶s marriage. Dowry is over-discussed. delivering a speech and living that out. Dowry is such a nuisance which has been making our daughters a burden to their parents. There are no official statistics for the reasons for the around 6. the two societies both have their fair share of dirty secrets when it comes to the equality of women. but with the gender bias against women as strong as it is. although it is far less openly accepted or as final as the µbride burning¶. The difference between Europe and North America and India is on the will of the criminal justice system to prosecute those who get caught. which YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 9 . DOWRY IN INDIA PUTTING THE MARRIAGE ON STAKE Dowry is a social evil which is µhated¶ by most of the µeducated¶ Indians but µpracticed¶ very proudly in their own lives.7 million abortions performed in India a year.abortion clinics. Perhaps the real question will not be whether India¶s gove rnment will look at the dahej as something more serious than they are treating it now but whether India is ready to accept putting these actions farther into the shadows to satisfy the palettes of good international etiquette. What occurs in India happens on the two continents as well. and subsequently a loss of respect for their brothers and sons? What will the condition of the female gender be when India has reached its desired entry into the Western World¶s definition of µdevel oped¶? Will the practice of dahej still exist as openly as it does currently? To judge India by North American and European standards on the treatment of women is hypocritical in both the widest and narrowest of thought. ethics and practicality. one can extrapolate that a fair percentage of those operations are not because of genetic defects or medical issues with the women who have them performed. How can the poor couples living in the poverty -stricken rural India indulge the thought of giving birth to a female child while they themselves are victims of this awful custom of dowry? It is a nightmare for them. One only needs to look at the occupancy rates in wom en¶s shelters. at court records and internet snuff sites.
The origin of dowry is found in our past. Lawrence (2005). It shows that dowry deaths are increasing in Bihar. even today. According to Sonia Dalmia and Pareena G. Table 2 indicates the states where dowry deaths are high amongst others in India. bride burning and so on and so forth. in urban India also is impossible without dowry and women¶s status in the society and family are connected to her marriage. dowry is responsible for many other social evils like female infanticides. a woman remains secluded and sometimes cursed by the family members. the actual number may differ from it. various sorts of domestic violence against women. Orissa and West Bengal also have high rates of dowry deaths. neighbours and others if she is not married at a µproper¶ age. To an extent. killing of female babies immediately after birth. Unfortunately and unreasonably. Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. And. Point to note is that these are only the reported cases. They are so poor that they cannot afford to pay dowry. marriage in rural India and to an extent.would not be possible for them in a normal way. Table 1 Table 2 It is evident from Table 1 that dowry deaths had been on the rise from 2006 to 2008 at the national level. The statistics presented below will show the incidence of dowry deaths in India. early marriage. The Hindu Law of Mitakshara encouraged the YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F P 10 .
AMENDMENT TO DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT 1961 In order to provide more teeth to dowry-prevention laws. these were contributions to the groom and his family from the bride¶s side. no matter they were voluntary or non -voluntary. whereas voluntary gifts given by the bride¶s father to the groom was conceived as varadakshina and voluantary gifts given by the relatives and others to the bride was Stridhana (P. Followed. the daughter did not have any right over her parents¶ property. Lee : 2004). Srinivasan and Gary R. It helped preventing division in the family belongings. usually at her marriage. the Government has decided to make it mandatory for couples to notify the list of gifts exchanged during their wedding ceremony. the system of giving daughter a handsome amount of money at an appropriate time. In all. signed by a protection officer or a dowry prohibition officer and kept by both the parties. in form of a sworn affidavit. house etc. was a kind of compensation to the inheritance system. has to be notarised. The Dowry Prohibition Act. as dowry generally consisted of movable properties. In such a situation. There were three upper caste practices in India namely Kanyadhana. but the girls were not entitled to the parental possessions. The rule will come about through an amendment to the existing Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 (DPA).custom of dowry in ancient India which guaranteed a son¶s inheritance to his parents¶ property at birth. Failing this can invite heavy penalty including a three -year term in jail for not only bride and groom but also their parents. particularly the immovable ones like land. The ministry of women and child development (MWCD) is moving a cabinet note seeking amendment in the existing provisions of DPA. Varadakshina and Stridhana which also supports dowry. Gifts to virgin bride was called Kanyadhana. The modern India could not go far from ancient India in the sense that girls are not treated equal to boys and dowry is considered to be an integral part of marriage even today. 1961 did a little to eliminate it from our society. official sources said. The list of gifts. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 11 .
The maintenance of lists of gifts is crucial for the effective implementation of the law. all property obtained as dowry would need to be reverted back to the parents of the woman or her childr en. The justification for this is that the taking of dowry by the husband itself was illegal. The definition of dowry is also being widened by chan ging the word "in connection with marriage" to "given before the marriage. The expression "gifts" finds definition in law under the Gift-Tax Act 1958. to include parents and relatives of the bride as aggrieved persons and who can complain and link the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence (PWDV) with the dowry laws for quick relief. allowing a woman to file case where she permanently or temporar ily resides. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 12 . the dowry liable to be returned in her lifetime on her death cannot give rise to a claim of inheritance. "There are no penalties provided for the failure to maintain lists of gifts exchanged in connection with the marriage. explained. the sources said. The amendments include having lesser penalty for the dowry givers. In case of a woman's death. that had prepared the amendments.The amendments are expected to be placed before cabi net for its approval this month end and is likely to be tabled in Parliament in the coming budget session. It also wants expression "presents" used in Section 3 (2) of the DPA to be substituted with "gifts" to indicate the voluntary intent behind the exchange. at the time and at any time after the marriage"." the National Commission for Women (NCW). Ministry wants a clear distinction between "gifts" given voluntarily from those given under duress or compulsion.
or (b) By the parent of either party to a marriage or by any other person.. to either party to the marriage or to any other person. in connection with the marriage of the said parties . .. at or before . or any time after the marriage .LAW RELATED TO DOWRY AND ITS DEFINATION AS PER LAW Dowry As per section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act "Dowry" means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly (a) By one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage..... YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 P 13 .
Asking or giving of dowry can be punished by an imprisonment of up to six months.e. but which YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 P 14 . Penalty for demanding dowry. this Act prohibits the request. directly or indirectly.Stridhan Stridhan is. Section 4 of the said Act states: 4. traditionally representing her share of her parent's wealth. as the case may be. generally speaking. what a woman can claim as her own property within a marital household. or a fine of up to Rs. payment or acceptance of a dowry. i. 15000 or the amount of dowry whichever is higher and imprisonment up to 5 years. "as consideration for the marriage". Gifts given without a precondition are not considered dowry. he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months.If any person demands. The Dowry Prohibition (DP) Act Introduced and taken up by then Indian law minister Ashoke Kumar Sen. It replaced several pieces of anti-dowry legislation that had been enacted by various Indian states. and are legal. and the dowry articles given by her family. It may include her jewelry (gifted either by her family or by her in-laws). where "dowry" is defined as a gift demanded or given as a precondition for a marriage. any dowry.. property of the woman. gifts presented to her during the wedding or later. from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom. Gifts given by the parents of the bride are considered "stridhan".
3) Nothing is sub section (1) shall apply to.3) five years. However. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 15 . for a adequate and special reaso ns to be recorded in he judgment. he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than [(Note: Subs. such presents are of a customary nature and the value thereof is not e cessive having regard to the financial status of the person by whom.  both the giver and the receiver are sought to be punished. for a adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment. (a) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without any demand having been made in that behalf).3) (1)] If any person. Sec. impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than si months. impose a sentence of imprisonment of a term of less than [(Note: Subs.[(Note: Section 3 re-numbered as sub-section (1) thereof by Act No.3) five years. sec. by Act 43 of 1986. as per section 3 of the Act. or in relation to. sec. Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with the rules made under this Act. Sec. whichever is more:] Provided that the Court may.may e tend to two years and with fine which may e tend to ten thousand rupees. (b) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bridegroom (without any demand having been made in that behalf). . Provided that the Court may. Provided further that where such presents are made by or on behalf of the bride or any person related to the bride. or on whose behalf. by Act 63 of 1984. by Act 43 of 1986. 3.63 of 1984. gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry. after the commencement of this Act.] (2) [(Note: Ins. Penalty for giving or taking dowry. such presents are given. and with fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry.
Offences under this section are bailable and cognizable. is usually applied in investigation of Stridhan recovery from the husband and his family. or with both. 1961 ( 28 of 1961). "dowry" shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act. any demand for dowry. Explanation:-For the purpose of this sub-section. Section 406. Dowry death (1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years 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. IPC Section 304B This Section of the Indian Penal Code was inserted by a 1986 amendment. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 16 . Punishment for criminal breach of trust Whoever commits criminal breach of trust shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may e tend to three years. for offences related to Criminal Breach of Trust. (2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life. such death shall be called "dowry death" and such husband or rela tive shall be deemed to have caused her death. The wording of the lawstates: Section 304B. or with fine.IPC Section 406 This section.
Explanation-For the purpose of this section. Usually. Domestic Violence Act (2005/2006) Main article: Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 17 . non-compoundable (i. being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman. the police in India can arrest any and all of the accused named in the complaint. subjects such woman to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine. cases under 498A are qua shed by mutual agreement when the husband and wife reconcile with each other. non -bailable offence.IPC Section 498A Section 498A was inserted into the Indian Penal Code in 1983 via an amendment. Prosecution for a non-compoundable offence can only be quashed by a High Court of India under its powers under section 482 of Criminal Procedure Code of India. Whoever. After registration of an FIR for a cognizable. limb or health whether mental or physical) of the woman . or (b) Harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her meet such demand. "cruelty" means(a) Any willful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life. or agree to divorce by mutual consent. This section is non-bailable. It reads: 498A. it cannot be privately resolved between the parties concerned) and cognizable. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.e.
For the purpose of this act. monetary compensation.The above being criminal remedies. whether physical or mental.Jul 19 2005 (Citation: JT 2005 (6) SC 266). or (c) has the effect of threatening the aggrieved person or any person related to her by any conduct mentioned in clause (a) or clause (b). limb or well being. safety. life. harms. Criticism of Anti-Dowry Laws Criticism by Judiciary The Supreme Court of India and the various High Courts have noted the gross misuse of IPC 498A in various judgments: y Supreme court declared 498a as "Legal Terrorism" while giving judgment in matter of Sushil Kumar Sharma Vs. verbal and emotional abuse and economic abuse. or (b) harasses. Though it is a Civil remedy. The protection orders could include restraining orders on the hu sband and others. Domestic Violence includes the demand for dowry: For the purposes of this Act. or(d) otherwise injures or causes harm. and residence orders. sexual abuse. injures or endangers the aggrieved person with a view to coerce her or any other person relat ed to her to meet any unlawful demand for any dowry or other property or valuable security. a civil remedy was brought into the picture in 2005 (amended in 2006). Union of India (UOI) and Ors . to the aggrieved person. whether mental or physical. This Act empowered the lower courts to issue "protection orders" on the complaint of a woman against her male relatives. This was called the "Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act". of the aggrieved person or tends to do so and includes causing physical abuse. violation of protection orders result in Criminal penalties (including imprisonment). any act. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 18 . omission or commission or conduct of the respondent shall constitute domestic violence in case it (a) harms or injures or endangers the health.
All charges against him were dismissed in October 1996 and all his family members were acquitted in June 1999. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 19 . The United States Department of State has published the following travel warning: A number of US men who have come to India to marry Indian nationals have been arrested and charged with crimes related to dowry extraction. especially at local levels. the Indian criminal justice system is often used to escalate person al disagreements into criminal charges. or other persons with whom the US citizen has a disagreement. which delayed Dr. The courts normally confiscate the American¶s passport. and he must remain in India until the case has been settled. leaving him to begin his residency in 1998. contractors. The courts sometimes order the US citizen to pay large sums of money to his spouse in exchange for the dismissal of charges. Balamurali Ambati. This practice has been increasingly exploited by dissatisfied business partners.Criticism outside India Several reports of the abuse of Section 498A have involved couples based outside India especially in the US & Canada. occasionally resulting in the jailing of US citizens pending resolution of their disputes. and may result in an unintended long -term stay in the country. It is stated in Travel Advisory by US. At the very least. Corruption in India. as evidenced by Transparency International¶s Corruption Perception Index of 3.5. Dr. is a concern. who earned his MD at age 17. Ambati's entry to the ophthalmology program for two years. estranged spouses. In a well publicized case. since the police may arrest anyone who is accused of committing a crime (even if the allegation is frivolous in nature). and his family were detained in India for over three years in a suit related to alleged dowry demands by the family for his brother's wife Archana. Many of the charges stem from the US citizen¶s inability to provide an immigrant visa for his prospective spouse to travel immediately to the United States. During the course of the trial the Ambatis produced a tape in which the father of Archana demanded US $500.000 to drop all the charges although the details of this particular case are still debated in India. such circumstances can delay the US citizen's timely departure from India. ranking India in 72nd place of the world¶s countries.
as well as various State governments.Criticism by Social Groups Criticism by Men's Rights movements According to the Men's Rights movement in India.  Similarly. whereas registering a complaint under 498A (where a woman is the aggrieved party) is widespread. mostly serve to shift the burden of proof onto the accused. Presumption of guilt. violence. The additional laws. IPC 304B assumes that if the accidental death of a wife happens within 7 years of marriage. instead of reforming the police. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 20 . have issued notifications and circulars which limit the arbitrary arrests made by Police during investigation of dowry-related offences. Vague definitions of Dowry and Stridhan. in practice. the burden of proving that he had not committed an offence under those sections shall be on him. their passports are impounded and they are restricted from traveling outside the country. A "dowry death" can be considered a murder. the Dowry Prohibition Act (section 8-A) states that "Where any person is prosecuted for taking or abetting the taking of any dowry under Sec. Police Circulars The Ministry of Home Affairs. No penalties.4." Duplication of existing laws: Laws already exist to deal with offences against intimidation. Human Rights violations: In most cases involving Non-Resident Indians. The police in India almost never registers complaints of extortion or violence against men in a domestic relationship. A corrupt police force which often does no investigation before arresting innocent people. 3. extortion a nd murder. or the demanding of dowry under Sec. and a demand for dowry can be considered extortion under existing laws. unless the husband can prove his innocence. for false complaints or for perjury. the laws suffer from the following shortcomings: y y y y y y y Gender Bias: The laws do not recognize cruelty and domestic violence against men. it should be assumed to be murder.
assistance and protection may not be available when the actual wolf appears. Social Repercussions In urban India. But by misuse of the provision a new legal terrorism can be unleashed. If [the] cry of "wolf" is made too often as a prank. The Centre for Social Research India has released a research report  opposing amendments to section 498A."The object is to strike at the root of dowry menace. the Supreme Court asked the Governme nt of India to amend the Dowry Laws to prevent their misuse.5 percent of the studied cases were falsified. 2003. The provision is intend ed to be used as a shield and not an assassin's weapon. the majority of families have inadequate knowledge regarding section 498A of the Indian Penal Code. I. Justices Arijit Pasayat and H. in the studied cases there were no convictions based solely on section 498A." the Bench said.´ On 20 July 2005." A police official asserted that in his district one-third of dowry murder cases were found totally false by the police. Divorced men and women who are involved in litigation find it almost impossible to get married again.Demands for Amending the law The Malimath committee in 2003 proposed making amendments to this section although such amendments were opposed by Women's groups.. However. Seema of the Indian Supreme Court declared Section 498A to be constitutional.K.D. The report however states that 60. Even temporary imprisonment followed by acquittal leads to loss of social standing. 1860. the then Minister of State for Home Affairs. YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 Page 21 . on December 17. In August 2010. Swami said: ³There is no information available with the Government to come to the conclusion that many families in India are suffering due to exaggerated alleg ations of harassment and dowry cases made by women against their husbands and other family members involving them in criminal misappropriation and cruelty. They also state that many people believe the law has been abused by "educated and independent minded women. According to this report.
YASH JAIN ROLL NO 70 F1 P 22 . They should take pledge to stop it from their time..everyone should oppose it and protest against it.. it has become a menace take it as a challenge for them2. The dowry demanding is a crime.3.Penalty for demanding dowry. Dowry is an age old system. If somebody violets anybody can be punished under [4.. It was in vogue even in prehistoric age.HOW TO STOP DOWRY SYSTEM? Gradually the society can get transformed to a dowry free marriage system. over the period of ages dowry is being looked from different beneficial angles/aspects.to erase this system every family should be aware about this and one thing should be remember by every bride family that if any groom or ant boys family demand for dowry the bride family.well basudha dowry system is a curse for our society and also its a evil for our society . Now a day. However.