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(Guest)

Seeking legal advice on giving dowry..

law says that giving dowry by brides' parents is also illegal crime besides demanding it.i read many news in papers where girls' parents were arrested as they gave dowry,when they made complaint against boy for demanding dowry.

but why courts ordered arrest of girls' parents when giving dowry is like a compulsory bribe?

if they dont give dowry they fear that their girl will not get good partner who is educated,earning well etc.and if they become idealists and pledge not to give it they also fear harassment of girl after marriage and perhaps marriage break up.

or else the daughter will not get married for many years till an "ideal" man comes across who pledges not to take a single rupee.

there is also possibility that she may find a boy who is less educated or handicapped or divorced etc and therefore not demadingdowry

under all above situations girls' parents are forced to give dowry.

educated boys are sold like expensive products.the one ready to pay more will get them while idealists will keep lookingg.

so Courts ordering arrests of girls' parents who gave dowry is inhumane treatment to them who are already under pressure to find a good match and there foret have no option but to give dowry

what is your opinion to girls' parents in such scenario who want a good match for their daughters?


Learning

 13 Replies

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     01 March 2010

Madam, Why are you underestimating Indian daughters? Why they should get married along with "bribe" as you say? Atleast through bribing, one is getting his work done the way he wants. Here we are giving our beloved daughters to one who is so inhuman so as to kill her pouring kerosine.  What is the guarantee that thye will be satisfied with what you give? Dowry prohibition law is there to safeguard the lives of young brides. If you think that getting your daughter married is only your priority, then I cannot say anything. But life after marriage is also should be your concern, right? And think of the adverse effects of Dowry. It becomes impossible for poor parents who cannot afford to get their daughters married without dowry. And as it is,  female infanticide has made the grooms parents worry about getting a bride for their son. Dont worry, a time may come where the girl's parents are being "bribed" to get their sons married..  :)

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     01 March 2010

BRIEF OF DOWRY LAW.

Gifts given by the parents of the bride are considered "stri-dhan", i.e. property of the woman, traditionally representing her share of her parent's wealth.The 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act

Introduced and taken up by then Indian law minister Ashoke Kumar Sen , this historical act  prohibits the request, payment or acceptance of a dowry, "as consideration for the marriage". where "dowry" is defined as a gift demanded or given as a precondition for a marriage. Gifts given without a precondition are not considered dowry, and are legal. Asking or giving of dowry can be punished by an imprisonment of up to six months, or a fine of up to Rs. 15000 or the amount of dowry whichever is higher and imprisonment up to 5 years. It replaced several pieces of anti-dowry legislation that had been enacted by various Indian states.

 IPC Section 304B. This Section of the Indian Penal Code was inserted by a 1986 amendment. The Dowry deaths lawa defines a 'dowry death' as the death of a woman caused by any burns or bodily injury or which does not occur under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage. For a woman's death to be a dowry death, it must also be 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. If this is proved, the woman's husband or relative is required to be deemed to have caused her death. Whoever commits dowry death is required to be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

 IPC Section 498A. Section 498A was inserted into the penal code in 1983 it reads:

Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, 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.

In practice, cruelty is taken to include the demanding of a dowry. This section is non-bailable, non-compoundable (i.e. it cannot be privately resolved between the parties concerned) and cognizable (i.e. the police can arrest the accused without investigation or warrants) on a report from a woman or close relative. Another examples of a cognizable law in India was the Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act.

Police often file charges against the husband, his parents and other relatives (whoever being named on the complaint by the wife or her close relatives) and put them in jail. There is no penalty (even a fine) for filing a false case. Many individuals have claimed this is being abused by the wife or her close relatives.

In urban India, the majority of families have inadequate knowledge regarding section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The Malimath committee in 2003 proposed making amendments to this section although such amendments have been opposed by women's groups and radical feminists.

The Centre for Social Research India has released a research report opposing amendments to section 498A. According to this report, in the studied cases there were no convictions based solely on section 498A. Although the report states that 60.5 percent of the studied cases were falsified. They also state that many people believe the law has been abused by "educated and independent minded women." A police official asserted that in his district one-third of dowry murder cases were found totally false by the police. .

However, on December 17, 2003, the then Minister of State for Home Affairs, I.D. Swami said: “There is no information available with the Government to come to the conclusion that many families in India are suffering due to exaggerated allegations of harassment and dowry cases made by women against their husbands and other family members involving them in criminal misappropriation and cruelty.”

On 20 July 2005, Justices Arijit Pasayat and H.K. Seema of the Indian Supreme Court declared Section 498A to be constitutional.” The object is to strike at the root of dowry menace. But by misuse of the provision a new legal terrorism can be unleashed. The provision is intended to be used as a shield and not an assassin's weapon. If [the] cry of "wolf" is made too often as a prank, assistance and protection may not be available when the actual wolf appears," the Bench said.

Several reports of the abuse of Section 498A have involved couples based outside India especially in the US & Canada. 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. 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.

The courts sometimes order the US citizen to pay large sums of money to his spouse in exchange for the dismissal of charges. The courts normally confiscate the American’s passport, and he must remain in India until the case has been settled.

It is stated in Travel Advisory by US, since the police may arrest anyone who is accused of committing a crime (even if the allegation is frivolous in nature), the Indian criminal justice system is often used to escalate personal disagreements into criminal charges. This practice has been increasingly exploited by dissatisfied business partners, contractors, estranged spouses, or other persons with whom the US citizen has a disagreement, occasionally resulting in the jailing of US citizens pending resolution of their disputes. At the very least, such circumstances can delay the US citizen's timely departure from India, and may result in an unintended long-term stay in the country. Corruption in India, especially at local levels, is a concern, as evidenced by Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index of 3.5, ranking India in 72nd place of the world’s countries.[2]

In a well publicized case, Dr. Balamurali Ambati, who earned his MD at age 17, 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, which delayed Dr. Ambati's entry to the ophthalmology program for two years, leaving him to begin his residency in 1998. All charges against him were dismissed in October 1996 and all his family members were acquitted in June 1999. 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.

 

 

 

V Kumar Singh (consultant)     01 March 2010

Suchitra Madam is right. Money can not make relations, this is the things which can break the relations.

Hemant Agarwal (ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108)     01 March 2010

1.  IF the girls parents fear that their daughter won't get married, if they do not give Dowry,  THEN I would say that there is something wrong in the Girl.    A girl who is competent enough for marriage purposes can be married off without the component of Dowry.

 

2.  After-marriage Harrassment or  marriage break-up or bride-burning or whatever,  has got nothing to do with marriage or dowry or 498A.   All this things happen even if you have paid / received dowry.  Things that are destined, would happen come what-may or what-ever-wise.  It would be further wise for the "parents" to NOT to pretend to be God, and keep tracking the girl or the boy's life and their affairs.

 

3.   IT would be thousand times worth while to wait for an "ideal man"  for the daughter,  THEN to marry off the daughter by  bribe'ing the  prospective hero-type high-fly Boy, who might be the "don" of his area or may be the one who would be looking for bride for burning.

 

4.  OFF-Course,  there are community marriages,  where the "fear-ful"  parents could opt to get their daughter married off,   without paying anything and on the contrary the NGO who organises such marriages, even pay/give gifts to the girls/boys.

 

5.  FURTHER, OFF-Course, the other option for the parents (God'fathers),  is to SAFELY retain the daughter at home either by keeping her un-married or by keeping an in-house bride-groom.


 

6.  GIVING Dowry, is a punishable crime,  BUT giving frequent Gift's to their daughter (and not to their son-in-law)  is NOT a punishable crime.  The parents can make several Gift Deeds (registered deeds)  and give  "what-so-ever"  that they want as a Gift to their daughter.   Such registered Gifts would qualify as   "Stree-Dhan",  in the eyes of law,  for future inheritance references.

 

7.  Giving  "money etc.."  to a third-party (eg.son-in-law)  may be construed as  "Dowry" in the eyes of law.   BUT  giving  "money etc..."  to own party (daughter)  CANNOT be construed as  "Dowry" in the eyes of law.    IT CAN BE  "ONLY"  classified as  GIFT or Stree-Dhan,  if it is given in the "NAME" of the daughter.

 

8.  HERE, the boy & family, can easily claim that they never accepted or rejected the Gift alias Dowry, since Gift is in the name of the girl,  and the boy does not have any right to restrict his wife  from accepting gifts from her own family or relatives.

 

9.  Dowry is classifed as  "demand or silent extortion or silent threat",  which is punishable under IPC.      B U T    "Gift"  is classifed as  "voluntary or out of affection or emotional compulsion",  which is not classified for punishment under ANY law.

 

10.  IF it can be proved (using documentary evidence)  that the Girls parents had  "N I L"   capacity to  "beg, borrow or steal"   and/or  had no financial capacity to pay "Dowry or Gift",  THEN ALL ALLEGATIONS OF  DOWRY OR GIFT CANNOT BE MAINTAINED  IN LAW.


 

INTROSPECTION :
11.   There are several Girls (of such fearful parents),  who run away from home and stay in other cities.  Some of them enjoy becoming  "call-girls" or  "dance-bar waiteress"  and some other girls deliberately ditch their parents  for "Show-Shaw" bikini-clad  life  and few of them abandon their parents to run-away and marry  their lovers  and start a "live-in relationship"  with other types of men or girls.
I THINK THE PARENTS, BETTER BE  "MORE"  FEARFUL ABOUT ALL THE ABOVE,  THEN CULTIVATE  "UN-FOUNDED"  FEARS ABOUT DOWRY ETC... 

 

12.    Parents my also consider, that our Indian customs, traditions and ancient sayings,  have always mentioned that  "girls are the root-cause of all problems".   Majority of the times,  the bride-groom is destroyed  physically / mentally / socially / monetarily,  by such girls who pretend to be parents PET, even after marriage and always are looking for unwarranted sympathy from both family's and on failure resort to 498A  and/ or running away among other things.
 

Cuurent generation of Girls, further consider their husband's house as a  Free Paying Guest-house,  wherein they can hop in and out, with divources and re-marriages AND to attain this, the  Girls resort to a spectrum of allegations.


 

BTW,    THERE are several other legal ways pertaining to Dowry "taking or giving",  which can be justified for legal purposes.    As far as  "moral or social"  purposes/thoughts & aggression towards dowry are concerned,  I think it better be flushed down the sewage drain,  unless the dowry issue is used to garner "Attention" by people suffering from  "Attention Deficit Disorder (A.D.D.)",  which is usually the case by such anti-dowry individuals / organisations.

 

COMMON QUOTE :  "When there is Will, there is a Way".

Uncommon Quote :  "When there is a Way,  there should be a capacity"

Unusual Fact : "When there is no will, BUT there is capacity,  THEN there is always a Way"

 

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal


(Guest)

@ Suchitra S


Thanks for ur opinion...


however i wud like to clarify here that my ideas here are misunderstood.


i am not supportiing the idea of giving dowry here.even i oppose it.


i m only saying that SC shud not have order arrests of girls' parents on complaint of the boy,when they made a dowry case against him,becoz girls'a parents are in a way compelled to give dowry.


its easier to say that we shud get daughters married without dowry.if u have a daughter or sister of marriageable age and an educated boy's family come to see her.and u tell them straight away that u want a v.simple dowryless marriage...how will they react?.ask urself


its not that educated girls can easily have simple and dowryless marriages......there must be few of them....due to materialism,even educated people have to give decent marriages to find a son inlaw.whether u accept my statements or not.this is the bitter truth...


and on top of that,SC orders arrest of girls' parents.even if they gave dowry,the ;point is y did the boy accept dowry?its not that he was forced to take it under some threat............so he is the real culprit;not the girls' family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     02 March 2010

Aishwarya ji, let me first clarify your doubts regarding arrest of girl's parents. The Dowry Prohibition Act in s.8 (2) says :  Every offence under this Act shall be non-bailable and non-compoundable.

 Madam, you had listed a number of reasons why it is necessary to give Dowry. It was obvious from your query that you wer of the opinion that only the aprty taking the Dowry should be punished and not the party that give Dowry. Dowry manace is just like the offence of 'Corruption'. You cannot eradicate corruption unless you make a law that both who takes and who gives bribe. Is it not that both the parties should be liable for an offence? How can one take Dowry when nobody is ready to give? Dowry Prohibition Act came into existence in India, after serious thinking about saving the young brides lives soon after the marriage. The parents of the girl are worried about their daughter's marriage. But the Govt has to think about removing the atrocities going on, on one class of people in the society. You and I cannot fight taking into considertion some individual cases. When law has been made, it is our utmost duty to obide them. When the Act strictly says giving and taking Dowry are punishable, and if the girl's parents start givng Dowry to get theri daughter married, is it not that they are violating the law? Please understand why the Act punishes both the parties only in some offences. There should be some rationale, right?

Suchitra. S (Advocate)     02 March 2010

Sorry. I think the font is too small above and hence reproducing it for another time.

 

Aishwarya ji, let me first clarify your doubts regarding arrest of girl's parents. The Dowry Prohibition Act in s.8 (2) says :  Every offence under this Act shall be non-bailable and non-compoundable.

 Madam, you had listed a number of reasons why it is necessary to give Dowry. It was obvious from your query that you wer of the opinion that only the aprty taking the Dowry should be punished and not the party that give Dowry. Dowry manace is just like the offence of 'Corruption'. You cannot eradicate corruption unless you make a law that both who takes and who gives bribe. Is it not that both the parties should be liable for an offence? How can one take Dowry when nobody is ready to give? Dowry Prohibition Act came into existence in India, after serious thinking about saving the young brides lives soon after the marriage. The parents of the girl are worried about their daughter's marriage. But the Govt has to think about removing the atrocities going on, on one class of people in the society. You and I cannot fight taking into considertion some individual cases. When law has been made, it is our utmost duty to obide them. When the Act strictly says giving and taking Dowry are punishable, and if the girl's parents start givng Dowry to get theri daughter married, is it not that they are violating the law? Please understand why the Act punishes both the parties only in some offences. There should be some rationale, right?

1 Like

Adinath@Avinash Patil (advocate)     02 March 2010

I  AGREE WITH SUCHITRA . SUCHITRA  WILL  BECOME EXPERT LAWYER. I APPRECIATE HER VIEWS.


(Guest)

@ suchitra


thanx again for making my thread lively..


wot u suggested that both the takers and giver of dowry shud be punished........i agree


but this stage comes after marriage when some conflicts arise due to which dowry case is made out in court.i m sure there must be cases when no dowry was demanded before or at the time of marriage,but only after marriage due to whcih the case was made


wot solution do u suggest when its demanded prior to marriage,ie,when matches are being seen........so shud the girl reject all 15-20 matches and wait for the ideal one?or shud she go and complain about all those who demanded it and therefore the match cud not be finalised...


if u say education will end dowry system,yes it seems so.......but is this really happening?if it was, then instead of big hotels,farmhouses and banqeut halls,people wud have been booking temples to get their educated daughters married;and they wud always be v.crowded during marriage season.....


just as a person can be arrested if he demands bribe even though he was not given any money,similarly a person demanding dowry shud also be booked even if the marriage doesnt take place..now who wud do that?

 

....so such greedy people are never exposed and they end up getting married to a richer family who believes in falunting wealth even if their daughter is a doctor...and so this disease continues.........becoz grooms are sold like expensive products.rich buyers get them while poor ones keep looking.......so wot do u suggest so that these pre-marriage demands dont take place at all,?owise such greedy people never learn a lesson...........


prevention is better than cure...i was discussing the stage when parents are seeing prospective matches for girls







Suchitra. S (Advocate)     02 March 2010

Madam, it is better if you ask specific questions rather than elaborating the matter. I am interested in giving legal advise only and I do not think I can bring change in the social system myself. As the law is now, one can bring a case to the Courts if there is dowry harrassment soon after marriage. And as I said earlier, both the parties to the marraige are liable for punishment. Even if the party asks for dowry before marriage, one can file a case on the party for asking dowry, but then, they have to prove before the Court that they demanded dowry. It is easy for the other party to deny it.

 

As far as changing the system, I cannot suggest you any solution as of now. Dowry manace is similar to corruption. We can talk about its eradication, frame many laws for the purpose, but it is the public at large who are responsible to tackle the problem. Unless they cooperate, there is no solution.

Manoj Choudhary (Advocate)     02 March 2010

Ms Aishwarya,

As i have personal experience, that this order was passed only to protact innocent families of boys those who dont demand for dowry from girl. But the girl anyhow could not adjust with her husband. and try to get away from him. At this point she misused 498A.

As I think this law is really helpful for those who are innocent and been in the clutches of greedy women(plz dont mind). Nobody wants to destroy his family only for some amount or some household things.

But I agree with you that this law restrict those girls who are innocent. to complaint against their in-laws

But in the trial court I proved accordingly.

For further info you can contact me on 09312396566

Arup Kumar Gupta, Korba, Chattishgarh ((m)9893058429)     02 March 2010

i never heard a case where a person arrested for paying dowery. the thing is so worst that the people tell with high voice that they paid dowery. but no action against them. NEVER.

Why it is such? is it not a corrupt practices by the police officials and the concerned court?

Aftab4u (PVT EMPLOYEE)     05 March 2010

The only people who's happiness will be screwed up due to Dowry is Boys side...its a fact no or never police will arrest any people of girls side due to sympathy or any reason...... poor chap whos life will become hell is " Dulha" and "Baraati".

 

Aftab


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