In Indian homes, the word "dowry" is quite pervasive and ubiquitous. It is a practise that has infected Indian society as a parasite and undermined the lovely institution of marriage. It is not a recent practise but has been practised for centuries, and because of the impact it has on Indian society, one can try to lessen it but not completely remove it. A number of laws have been passed to forbid the practise of dowry, but their reach is less extensive than the practise itself. The essay will also list the social and legal repercussions of dowry practise in addition to its other varied features.
Who could possibly violate the law?
Both receiving and giving dowry are prohibited under section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961. As a result, both the bride's family and the bridegroom's family would be required to consent to the payment of dowry.
Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 is the legal framework in India for dowry prohibition:
Penalty for taking dowry
(1) Anyone who gives, takes, or assists in the giving, or taking, of dowry after the commencement of this Act shall be punished by imprisonment for a term that shall not be less than five years and by a fine of not less than fifteen thousand rupees, or the sum of the value of such dowry, whatever is more
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) do not apply to or have any bearing on gifts provided to the bride at the time of the marriage (without any demand having been made in that regard):
Providing that such gifts are recorded in the list kept in accordance with the rule adopted according to this Act;
gifts that are given to the bridegroom at the wedding (without any request being made in that regard):
As long as such gifts are recorded in a list kept in conformity with this Act's requirements;
Furthermore, when such gifts are made by or on account of the groom or any of her relatives, they must be of a customary nature and of a reasonable value as compared to the financial situation of the person making them.
Penalty for demanding dowry:
Anyone who demands dowry directly or indirectly from parents, other relatives, or the guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term that shall not be less than 6 months but which may extend to two years, and with fine that may extend to ten thousand rupees: Provided, however, that the Court may, for sufficient and special purposes to be mentioned in the judgement, impose a sentencing enhancement.
Dowry should benefit the woman or her heirs:
(1) Any dowry that is obtained by someone other than the lady for whose marriage it is provided must be transferred to the woman.
- if the dowry was obtained prior to marriage, three months following the wedding date; or
- whether the dowry was obtained within three months of the date of its reception at the time of the marriage or after; or
If the dowry was obtained when the woman was a minor, it must be transferred to the woman within three months of her turning 18 years old. In the interim, it must be held in trust for the lady's benefit.
(2) Any person who fails to transfer property as required by subsection (1) within the allotted time period or in accordance with subsection (3) is subject to punishment, which may include both imprisonment for a term of not less than six months and not more than two years and a fine of not less than five thousand rupees but not less than ten thousand rupees.
(3) If the lady entitled to any property under subsection (1) passes away before obtaining it, her heirs are eligible to make a claim against the person now in possession of the property:
- be given to her parents if she doesn't have kids, or
- If she has kids, the money will go to the kids and, while it's being transferred, it will be held in trust for the kids.
(3-A) The Court shall, in addition to imposing the appropriate punishment under subsection (2), direct, by order in writing, that the person who was found guilty under subsection (2) of failing to transfer property as required by subsection (1) or subsection (3) shall transfer the property to the woman who is entitled to it or, as the case may be, to her heirs, parents, or children.
Section 7 states that a judge who is not lower than the rank of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of First Class shall try an offence in accordance with this Act. Only the victim, the victim's parents or other family members, the police report, or the court's own knowledge of the facts of the offence may be used to establish criminal responsibility in court.
Power to make legal provisions under Dowry Act:
(1) The Central Government has the authority to enact rules to carry out the purposes of this Act by publishing a notice of them in the official Gazette.
(2) Specifically, and without limiting the scope of the aforementioned power, such rules may provide for
the format, manner, and individuals responsible for maintaining any list of gifts mentioned in Section 3's second paragraph, as well as all other issues related thereto; and improved policy and action coordination with regard to the administration of this Act.
(3) Every rule made under this section must be laid before each House of Parliament as soon as possible after it is made while they are in session for a total of thirty days, which may be divided into one session or several successive sessions. If, before the end of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid, both Houses agree to make any changes to the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule may be changed.
The State Government may enact regulations to carry out the purposes of this Act by publishing notice of them in the official Gazette.
(2) In particular, and without limiting the scope of the aforementioned authority, such rules may address all or any of the following issues:
the new duties imposed on the Dowry Prohibition Officers by Section 8-B's Subsection 2;
Limitations and circumstances that apply to the performance of a Dowry Prohibition Officer's duties under Section 8-B's subsection (3).
(3) The State Legislature must be presented with any rules that the State Government adopts in accordance with this section as soon as practicable after they are made.
Dowry is a horrific crime against women and a social scourge. All men should view demanding or even accepting any wealth in the guise of dowry as disgraceful. Demanding dowry is now a recognised crime with severe legal penalties. The justifications for receiving dowry, such as ensuring the bride's future security or financial independence, must be buried. The tradition of dowry is undoubtedly unnecessary in our country because men and women have equal opportunity.
Before getting married, the bride and groom should be open about their finances to prevent misunderstandings later. Men are required to swear not to ever demand money from their partners. Demanding is never preferable to sharing.
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