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Dowry & Dowry Death By - Videesha Kukreja

Dowry & Dowry Death

Submitted By - Videesha Kukreja




Amity Law School,Noida                              

Amity University, Uttar Pradesh




It is to certify that Ms. Videesha Kukreja is pursuing BBA.LL.B(H) from Amity Law School, Amity University, Uttar pradesh and has completed her dessertation under my supervision. During her training she learnt various court craft. The paper submitted is found to be original and suitable for submission.



Date:30.10.2022                                                                                                     Dr. Shailja Khosla














I, Videesha Kukreja pursuing BBA.LL.B(H) from Amity Law School, Amity University Uttar Pradesh, do hereby declare that the dessertation  submitted by me of my Legal Writing (LWLW100) is an original work and has not been submitted, either in part or full anywhere else for any purpose, academic or otherwise, to the best of my knowledge.


I understand what plagiarism is and I am aware of theUniversity’s policy in this regard.I declare that

  1. The work submitted by me in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award ofdegree of BBA. LL.B (Hons.)Assessment in this dissertation is my own; it has notpreviously been presented for another assessment.


  1. I declare that this dissertation is my original work. Wherever work from other source hasbeen used, all debts (for words, data, arguments and ideas) have been appropriatelyacknowledged and referenced in accordance with the requirements of NTCC regulations and Guidelines.


  1. I have not used work previously produced by another student or any other person tosubmit it as my own.\


  1. I have not permitted, and will not permit, anybody to copy my work with the purpose of passing it off as his or her own work.


I have quoted all case analysis that have been witnessed by me during my  work period. I have not submitted anything that comes under the confidentiality clause of my Industry Guide. I have not infringed any copy rights.


Date: 30.10.2022                                                                                                     Videesha Kukreja









I hereby certify that

  1. Videesha Kukreja , Enrollment No. A3221518120 , a student of the BBA. LL.B. (Hons.) 2018–23 programme at the Amity Law School in Uttar Pradesh, has successfully completed the Project Report on "Dowry & Dowry Death" during the 9th semester under my guidance.


  1. The work that was presented was original research that the student conducted in accordance with the standards outlined in the university regulations.


  1.  The candidate completed the research and wrote the thesis, with the exception of any places where the text makes appropriate mention of them.


  1. I am confident that the aforementioned candidate's initial application is deserving of examination in terms of both content and technical presentation in light of the standards that the university has determined to be appropriate for examination.


  1.  I confirm that the report does not exceed the permitted maximum word limit in compliance with NTCC guidelines; or Going beyond the word limit has been requested with advance consent.


  1. All debts (for words, facts, arguments, and ideas) have been properly acknowledged and referenced in accordance with the requirements of NTCC Regulations and Guidelines wherever work from another source has been used.


























The Dowry system




Dowry system development in India




Dowry and its norms




Ideas for dowry in India




Rising of dowry death in India




Laws concerning dowry and its related crime




India’s punitive code




Key Judgements in connection with Dowry deaths




Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961




Suggested Reforms








“One of India's most obscene, horrifying, and pressing crises is Dowry Death. In addition to government- and non-government-sponsored campaigns and education programmes against dowry killings and the dowry system in India, laws and acts have been established and implemented into the country's legal system. Despite the existence of such programmes, the national death toll from dowry-related causes has increased. Despite the rapid rise of middle-class society and the youth population, strides towards modernization, significant favourable economic development, and a superior education system, the country still lacks progress in a number of sectors. One of these issues is the increasing prevalence of the Dowry System and associated deaths. The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 was enacted, and other regulations have been strengthened to make it harder to practise the dowry system and the accompanying deaths. The Indian Penal Code now includes Sections 304 B (dowry death) and 498 A (cruelty by husband or his relatives), while the Indian Evidence Act now includes Section 113 B (dowry death presumption). This research paper has attempted to examine and evaluate the legal provisions that the Indian Legal System has adapted and adopted to minimise the annoyance of Dowry Deaths, to highlight flaws and along with its improvement in the legal system & the society, and to highlight the available remedies as well as how to further augment such remedies so that they are beneficial to the legitimately aggrieved party.[1] It is common knowledge that when a ritual, practise, or tradition becomes deeply ingrained in a culture, it inevitably leaves room for dissent. The Indian government has taken a number of proactive initiatives to combat this societal ill. Numerous laws, acts, and enactments have been introduced, yet they have all proven to be useless. This essay's analysis of the idea of dowry and all significant regulations and provisions related to it is its main goal. While writing this article, a holistic approach was used, and every attempt was made to clarify the notion in the context of legal rulings and analogous inferences. Additionally, certain significant facts are presented in this study to inform the readers of the precise numbers of people who have been victims of various crimes related to the desire for dowry. This essay also offers a number of reformative and suggested ideas that could help India's anti-dowry laws be strengthened. Hope that this piece of work proves to be beneficial to many intellectual heads.”






“The practise of giving dowries to newlywed women is a longstanding Indian custom. In truth, the parents intend to leave their daughter a portion of their wealth. This allows the bride and other females to construct their own homes. It is regrettable, however, that this tradition has become corrupted in modern times and that the system has become a threat and a social ill in our society. Weddings are no longer joyous occasions; rather, they put the parents of the bride on edge in case the family of the groom requests excessive gifts the evening before the ceremony. In fact, the greedy groom or his parents frequently make requests for gifts that the girl's parents may not be able to fulfil, such as cash, a car, a movie, etc. Thus, they are caught between deep water and the devil. The girl gains notoriety for abruptly calling off the wedding. Frequent spread of false, hostile rumours about her makes reengagement and marriage difficult. The stress caused by such an event frequently drives young women to attempt suicide. Another strategy employed by the boy's family is to annoy the bride after the wedding in order to convince her to ask her parents for the desired gifts rather than making excessive requests before the wedding. The girl's life is made to feel like a living hell until she can satisfy her husband and in-laws' excessive demands. These impolite individuals also use the tactic of taking the bride to her parents' home with the instruction that she may only return if she can convince them to increase the dowry. The girl has no choice but to accede to these demands and persuade her parents to comply. When girls realise that their parents cannot meet these demands, they are sometimes motivated to commit suicide. The situation is significantly worse when the in-laws conspire to kill the son's wife so that he can remarry someone who will pay a larger dowry. The frequency with which these occurrences occur is a sad commentary on the Indian character. This is the lowest level of greed, depravity, and inhumanity attainable by a human being. To satisfy their greed, such individuals burn to death brides without guilt or fear. The answers to this unfortunate situation need to be changed as quickly as possible, but they are not very simple. The law has finally caught up with us, making it illegal to give or accept dowry, yet [2]individuals still do it freely and unabatedly. Thus, it is evident that the issue cannot be[3] resolved by the law alone. In this situation, mobilising the public against it is crucial. Young guys should not accept dowries”. They ought to understand that a marriage unites two souls. By getting married, they can start their own family and have more motivation to pursue their professional goals. As a result, they ought to avoid receiving dowries. Instead, they should have the self-respect to decline the presents or money that the bride's parents offer to 'purchase' them. In a same vein, girls should also decline to wed a young guy who is so avaricious as to demand anything from her parents. In fact, she should have been warned about the boy's avarice at the first sign of it before they got married and not let the passion get in the way. She should be concerned about marrying a boy like him.  Another key option is to ensure that all girls have professional training so they can work before getting married. It would be even better if she worked before getting married because being financially independent would give her self-assurance. She could easily reject avaricious young men. In other words, it would give her the utmost confidence to do repairs on her own. Hurting a working girl who can respond to them in the same coin would be difficult. Finally, the public must be aggressively mobilised against the giving and receiving of dowries if a true remedy is to be found. It will be challenging to eradicate it until everyone sees it as bad. As a result, this should be done on a military level, and all government media should be utilised for this. Not all of the rules of the nation can end it until elderly and young men, women, and even children perceive it as a societal evil. Therefore, the only way to resolve the issue is for everyone to work together in a consistent, persistent, and cooperative effort to spread the word about the social scourge of dowry. The practise of dowery is widespread throughout practically all of Indian society. When a daughter gets married, her parents pay her dowry. It is a form of assistance from the bride's parents to the newlywed couple in setting up a new house. The practise is quite old. In the past, it was a voluntary afterthought, so it wasn't bad, but nowadays, it's a necessary evil. The dowry system has eaten away at our society's foundation. The parents do not celebrate the birth of a daughter. When a girl is young, she puts her parents through hardship. Finding a good match for their daughter is a very challenging task for them. Without a sizable dowry, it is difficult to get her married into a wealthy and prestigious family. Despite being attractive and intelligent, a poor man's daughter cannot wed a rich man's son. The horror of dowry drives many girls to suicide in [4]order to protect their parents. Numerous other sins stem from this habit. Parents raise money in both legal and illegal ways to feed the grooms' greed. It has been resolved by our government to eradicate this scourge from Indian society. To end this great evil, laws are being drafted. Additionally, young people are speaking out against this curse. People should swear to do everything in their power to combat this enormous evil. It is an insult to the good name of our magnificent nation. Men ought to make an effort to shed this negative stigma.






“The Hindu society is filled of many harmful customs and evil practises, including dowry, which has grown to be a significant societal evil against women. It's impossible to pinpoint the exact origins of this wicked tradition nowadays. It might have started because the parents wanted to offer their daughter a share of their possessions as dowry. We witness daily the hardships that women endure in order to pay dowries. We heard in the news about a young woman being burned to death every day because she was unable to carry dowry with her. Even more frequently, young brides are tortured and forced to commit suicide because they failed to bring the required dowry. As a result, a girl's parents must become destitute in order to arrange her marriage. A girl could go to school. She might work as a doctor, professor, or I.A.S. officer. Parents are required to pay dowry. In order for their daughters to be respected by their in-laws, the parents must make arrangements for dowries. Those that are unable to do so must allow their daughter to stay single. Contrarily, wealthy parents are able to purchase acceptable husbands for their daughters. All of these demand that the dowry ban be enforced rigorously. While it is true that both giving and receiving dowries are against the law, violations tend to occur more frequently than compliance. A dowry system is actually bad. Like cancer, it is spreading quickly. There are laws against dowries. The police have been told to treat Dowry-deaths seriously. However, it is typically seen that crimes committed in order to obtain dowry go unpunished[5]. The legal system rejects these cases. Law cannot solve this problem on its own. To put an end to this atrocity, society must take action. The promise that they would not accept dowries should be made by young men. Anyone requesting dowry needs to be exposed. He needs to be shunned in society. There is an underlying dislike for women despite the fact that they are in charge of life and have equal rights to males in every aspect of it. They are the victims of several unethical social behaviours despite holding high positions in government, industry, education, the armed forces, and other fields of endeavour. The dowry system is one of them and it is a malignant system.”


“ Despite the fact that the federal and state governments have enacted legislation to combat this issue, it persists in our society and is undermining the base of social life like a cancer. When a girl is born into a Hindu family, especially in Northern India, everyone's expression becomes despondent. They have lost even their cheerful grins. They seem to have succumbed to their sorrows and hardships. Even the mother of the kid appears depressed, and she is periodically the subject of her in-laws' jokes and sarcastic remarks. Do you comprehend why this happens? It is a result of our culture's prevalent dowry system. As soon as a girl is born, the concept of dowry and the need for a substantial amount of money in cash or kind flashes before her eyes. People have taken further measures to avoid this sad situation. They visit nursing homes to have the sex of the unborn child prenatally determined, leading to unethical procedures. Regardless of a woman's wishes, she must adhere to her in-laws' rules. The dowry system, which is a stain on Indian society's good name and a curse for women, is the sole cause of all these things. For the purpose of holding marriage negotiations, the parents of the girls must pay the parents a sizeable sum of money. If they don't give in to their requests, the marriage discussions suffer a serious setback. Furthermore, their daughter is mocked, degraded, and treated cruelly if they consent under duress and fail to pay the debt. As a result, she starts to believe that her existence is meaningless and that she must commit suicide in order to end it. Alternatively, if she is immune to ridicule, her in-laws will burn her to death. In a country where prominent figures such as Tagore, Gandhi, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, etc. were born and spoke out against the dowry system, this is the fate of our women. In various sections of the country, including Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the problem persists despite the government's regulatory attempts. The only remaining option in this situation is to rally public opinion against the practise of selling boys. The press and all political parties must wage a full-scale fight against this system. Dowry seekers will be placed on a blacklist and publicly shunned. The youth of today are compelled to vow they will not sell themselves to the parents of a girl. Instead of becoming the puppets of their parents, they must take charge of their own destinies. Black marketers must be destroyed since they may support such a system by providing hefty dowries for their daughters' weddings. If this is accomplished, there is a significant probability that India will abolish the dowry system. In India, dowery is an ancient social practise. In actuality, it has become a negative that diminishes the respect and status of women in society. When a daughter marries, the bride's dowry is paid by the father. Dowry is a terrible practise that greatly degrades women. It represents male dominance over women and their subordination. The birth of a daughter is despised as a result of this wickedness, and women are seen as a burden”. The lives of the parents and girls have been made very miserable by dowry seekers who demand a large dowry. The humiliating and bare-chested exhibition of wealth promotes dowry. Many wives have been killed or burned because of the dowry hunters.[6]






“In India, the establishment of marriage is connected with the dower system. Contrary to now, dowry in the past was a fully voluntary gift given to the daughter and her husband, whereas it is now a conditional dowry. In ancient scriptures and literature, the marriage ceremony is portrayed as one of the most crucial rituals and ceremonies in a person's life, nearly necessary and binding for all Hindu males in general and all Hindu women in particular, but the Dowry System is not addressed. The Gods and Goddesses themselves bestowed their blessing on marriage during the Vedic era, and no human action could ever sever this holy link. There were some very fundamental and straightforward guidelines that people adhered to while considering marriage, but Dowry is still not mentioned. Authors of literature devoted to writing about the development of the dowry system in India demonstrate that in the past, daughters were denied their right to inherit, only sons had this privilege, and ultimately, only the sons received their father's property. In this case, the daughter's parents used to give her some of their money and jewellery when she got married out of pure love and affection, which is thought to have originated and sparked the Dowry System in the nation.”[7]



The practise of taking and providing dowry is prohibited by the Dowry Prohibition Act, which was passed in 1961. Violators are subject to imprisonment for up to six months, a fine up to 5,000 rupees, or both, depending on the severity of their offence.


Under Section 498 of the CrPC, the police have the authority to detain perpetrators of domestic abuse. According to Section 304 B(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, anyone who commits dowry death must be punished with imprisonment for a term that shall not be less than seven years but which may exceed life imprisonment.[8]



Dowry is the result of society's collective avarice and its desire to display its status, riches, and groom's value in society by revealing how much money or gifts the groom received. Such a social evil is a result of the patriarchal structure of the society, in which men are viewed as superior and have absolute power over women. Women are easy prey for such patriarchs since they are considered as objects in society, making them their victims. Additionally, the gender imbalance renders the bride's family obligated to pay whatever it takes to satisfy the dowry requirements. Due to extreme social and familial pressure, women are compelled to live their whole lives inside the four walls of the home, silently enduring all types of abuse from spouses and in-laws in order to preserve the pride, honour, and reputation of their families. It is made considerably harder for the victims of abuse and torture to speak up, raise their voices, or express their ideas by society's blatant ignorance and lack of empathy.[9]



“In general, dowry deaths can be defined as the death of the bride as a result of the violence perpetrated upon her by the family of the groom in connection with the demand for the dowry. Though opinions against the long-established and widespread practise of dowry have changed over time, and may be said to have changed more recently, the atrocities perpetrated against women have remained constant. The federal and state legislatures are highly concerned about the subject of dower death because it is a significant social ill. It became important to adopt specific regulation in this area in order to protect the lives and dignity of newlywed women from any direct or indirect harm associated with the demand and even amount of dowry received in certain cases. The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 is the most precise law in this regard among those passed by the government. The ground-level use and applicability of the act's provisions were, however, questioned, and it was judged that adopting a separate act in its entirety was insufficient. On the advice of the twenty-first law commission, sections were added to the Indian Penal Code that made it a crime to harmonise dowry laws and all other related rules, including those dealing to domestic violence and the presumption of dowry death. In order to resolve this issue, the law commission was created. The term dowry-related crimes encompasses a variety of offences, including the physical abuse and torture of women in order to get money from their households, even if their families cannot afford it. Many brides take their own lives in order to escape the misery they face at the hands of their cruel in-laws, because every individual has a certain threshold beyond which they can no longer bear such barbaric treatment.




“The term dowry death refers to a wife's unnatural passing as a result of the husband and/or his family demanding dowry. Money, valuables like jewellery, moveable and immvovale property, and other items can be given as dowry. If their demands, greed, and thirst for dowry are not satisfied, women are either murdered by their husbands or by the husband's family, or the woman commits herself because she could no longer bear the pressure to pay the dowry. In light of the rising social and materialistic demands, it is yet another approach to start or enhance the husband’s career or to provide for the family . The husband and his family's demand for dowry is simply motivated by avarice; else, this abhorrent practise would have ended long ago. In India, dowry-related mortality instances are progressively rising over time. Additionally, there are more instances of husbands or his family treating their wives cruelly, which is primarily due to the requirement for dowry and the wife's incapacity to pay it. In 2016, there were 7,621 reported incidents of dowry deaths, and there were 1,10,378 documented cases of husbands or their relatives abusing their wives, according to information from the NCRB Report, 20162. The majority of Dowry Death cases worldwide occur in India. The exploitation of the same imposed laws by the wife or her family to harass and blackmail the husband or husband’s family is another apparent issue that arises with laws established to protect women from this horrible deed, and it is also necessary to deal with this issue quickly.”



India is a country with a rich cultural legacy, but as we are all well aware of, there are always opposing viewpoints. The implication from the aforementioned statement is that India, with its rich cultural and historical past, has numerous social ills in its society, one of which is the social ill of "dowry," which has deeply ingrained roots in Indian society. There are several dowry giving and receiving methods throughout the nation, and the culture has even endorsed this long-standing custom. But as the number of dowry-related crimes in Indian society has increased over time, the government has made increasingly active efforts to combat this social ill. In addition to the general laws already in place, other laws have been passed to address specific dowry-related issues or, to put it another way, to address apparent or potential dowry-related crimes in either a direct or indirect way. Due to the increasing frequency of dowry-related deaths in India, the government has set guidelines for dealing with these situations.

The penalty could be a minimum of five years in prison and a fine exceeding 15,000 or the value of the dowry received, whichever is greater. The Act defines dower as any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given in conjunction with a marriage.

In addition, laws have been revised to enhance the court system and provide protection and help to victims of dowry-related homicides and other forms of cruelty. We have the Indian Penal Code (I.P.C. ), the Indian Evidence Act (I.E.A. ), the Criminal Procedure Code (Cr.P.C. ), and The Dowry Prohibition Act to combat dowry-related fatalities and cruelty (D.P.A.).



The IPC's Section 304-B addresses Dowry Death. That also states:


The term "dowry death" refers to a woman's passing within seven years of marriage who was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any of his relatives for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry. If it can be proven that this happened shortly before the woman passed away, it will be considered that her husband or relative was to blame for her death.


The penalty for dowry murder is an incarceration term that must be at least seven years lengthy but may be as long as life.


The following are the components of Section 304-B of the I.P.C.


1. When a lady dies under unusual and suspicious circumstances as a result of burns or any other kind of physical harm.


2. After seven years of marriage.


3. The death is a result of the dowry demand.


4. The phrase "Soon before her Demise."


• The offence is cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable. In the case of Satvir Singh and others v. State of Punjab and another, the Supreme Court ruled that the harassment or cruelty that a woman must endure must occur "short before her death," rather than at some point after the demand for dowry.[10]



“In Satbir Singh v. State of Haryana[11], the Supreme Court of India ruled that once the prosecution has proven all of the elements of Section 304 B of the Indian Penal Code, the burden of proof of innocence transfers to the defence.


The court made its position on the expression soon before death clear in Mustafa Shahadal Sheikh v. State of Maharashtra. The court ruled that no specific time frame was indicated in the penal code and that different courts could determine the appropriate duration based on the case's facts and circumstances.

The court made it clear in the same instance that the death should not be too far away from the cruelty that caused it; otherwise, there is no basis for taking legal action.”[12]


PART 498A OF THE IPC 1860:

“Chapter XXA of the Indian Penal Code was revised in 1983 with the addition of section 498A, which addresses cruelty against a married woman. This was done to protect the dignity of the female gender and ensure the safety and security of women at their in-laws' homes against any form of harassment or bad treatment by her husband or his relatives.”

The section is as follows:


498A. Cruel treatment of a woman by her husband or a relative of her spouse.


If a woman is subjected to cruelty by her husband or a member of her husband's family, the perpetrator risks up to three years in prison and a fine.



The term "cruelty" as used in this section means


(a) Any purposeful act that endangers the woman's life, limbs, or health (whether physical or mental) or is likely to inspire suicide ideation;


(b) When a woman is harassed with the goal of pushing her or a person affiliated with her to comply with an illegal demand for property or valuable security, or when she or a person associated with her refuses to comply with such a demand, the harassment is unlawful.[13]



Section 498A basically has three requirements, which are as follows:


The women need to be formally wed.


She must be subjected to abuse or harassment.


Harassing a woman in an effort to get her to comply with an illegal demand for money, property, or valuable security, or because she or a family member has refused to comply with such demands.


• The offence is cognizable, non-bailable, and incapable of being compounded. In the case of “ Balwant Singh v. State of Himachal Pradesh”, a two-judge bench ruled that even if a defendant is found not guilty under section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code, they can still be found guilty under section 498-A of the same law because the two sections cannot be interpreted as mutually exclusive. And in the case of  “Pawan Kumar v. State of Haryana”, the Supreme Court ruled that if the wife died within seven years of the marriage due to a dowry-related suicide, then in addition to sections 304-B and 498-A of the Indian Penal Code, the accused can also be held liable under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code in order to give justice to the deceased.



In “Niraj Trivedi v. State of Bihar and Ors.” , one of the key judgments addressing the scope of section 498A of the Indian Penal Code, the Delhi High Court ruled that "the matters connected to section 498A of the IPC can be examined only when there has been a commission of any crime." In this specific instance, it was made apparent what was necessary for an investigation into section 498A-related issues.


Additionally, it was decided in the case of “Onkar Nath v. State” (NCT of Delhi) that the clause shouldn't be employed as a tool to further ulterior goals. This ruling can be viewed as a sort of court recommendation regarding the abuse of this clause.


(C)113A OF THE EVIDENCE ACT OF 1872:  According to Section 113B of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872,


113B. Suicide by a married woman is presumed to have been assisted.


When it is unclear whether a woman's suicide was encouraged by her husband or a relative of her husband, and it is established that she committed suicide within seven years of her marriage and that her husband or the relevant relative had treated her cruelly, the court may infer, taking all other circumstances into account, that the suicide was encouraged by her husband or the relevant relative.


In this provision, "cruelty" has the same definition as in section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).


“According to Section 113A, it is presumed that the husband or his family supported the wife's suicide, but in this case, the burden of proof rests with the defendant. It is important to note that based on the language of the clause, it can be deduced that, according to the presumption, the initial burden of proof lies with the male defendant.”


“The essential element of section 304-B of the I.P.C. is compliance with its requirements.

 In Kamesh Panjiyar alias Kamlesh Panjiyar v. State of Bihar, the court ruled that if section 113B of the Indian Evidence Act and section 304B of the Indian Penal Code are read together, there must be evidence provided to the court demonstrating that either the husband or the wife has committed adultery.

 However, it was stated in the case of Sham Lal v. State of Haryana, that if there is no proof of the harassment and cruelty soon before her death, the husband cannot be found guilty under section 304-B of the I.P.C. and section 113-B of the I.E.A.

 Similar to this, in the case of  Harjit Singh v. State of Punjab, the court determined that there was insufficient evidence to support the claim that the wife consumed the poison as a result of the husband's cruelty or harassment.

 As a result, the husband was found not guilty under section 304-B of the I.P.C., and the I.E.A.'s provisions could not be applied to him.”[14]


The entire Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 is set up, equipped, and created to help the victims of dowry cases across the nation. The entire act serves only to alleviate women's suffering due to dowry abuse and harassment. There are ten divisions altogether, and the headings of each are as follows:[15]

1) Section 1: Short title, scope, and beginning


2) Section 2: "Dowry" Definition


Section 3: Penalties for providing or receiving dowry


4) Section 4 - Penalties for Dowry Demand


5) Section 4A, which prohibits advertising


6) The dowry agreement in Section 5 is null and void.


7) Dowry should benefit the woman or her heirs according to Section 6.


8) Cognizance of Offense Section 7


9) Section 8 - Non-bailable, non-compoundable, and cognizable for certain objectives offences


10) Section 8A - Certain instances require the burden of proof


11) Dowry Prohibition Officers under Section 8B


12) Section 9 - Rulemaking Authority


13) Section 10 - State Government's Ability to Make Regulations[16]



“This makes the giving and receiving of dowry illegal in India and punishable by a fine of up to Rs. 15,000 or five years in prison, whichever is greater. The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 was amended by the Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act of 1984 and the Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act of 1986. After the first amendment was passed in 1984, a significant number of women representatives felt that the changes were insufficient to address dowry-related issues in society. As a result, the law was amended again in 1986 to address the problem.”[17]


As can be observed, this Act was written with the goal of protecting and improving the position of dowry victims, who may be at risk of suicide, murder, harassment, or other cruel treatment if left unchecked.


As stated in section 6 of the D.P. Act, "dowry shall be for the benefit of the wife or her heirs," we should understand that this simply refers to a sum of property (whether it be money or any other type of property) given by a woman's parents or her parents' family out of pure love and affection to protect the social and financial interests of a woman and is not a social evil. In truth, the "demand" for dowry made by the husband or husband's family and endured by the wife and wife's family is the source of social ills.[18]


The husband and his relative were found guilty under section 498A /304B of the Indian Penal Code, and section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act and  in the matter of “Sabitri Dei and others v. Sarat Chandra Rout and others.” The order made by the appropriate Sessions Court was overturned.


Similar to this, the criminal appeal in Premananda Sahoo v. State of Orissa[19] was made in opposition to the ruling rendered by the appropriate Sessions Court.


The Supreme Court ruled in the famous case of “Suresh Kumar Singh v. State of U.P”.[20]  that the evidence of dowry demand presented by the prosecution should not be too old from the woman's passing. To invoke the phrase "soon before her death" and charge the accused under the D.P. Act as well, the proximity of the dowry demand and the victim's death must be proven.



India's legal system for forbidding dowry Act of 1961 prohibiting dowries penalization for dowry transactions (Section 3) Section 3 states that anyone who offers, takes, or aids in the giving or taking of dowry after the Act's implementation will be punished with a period of imprisonment of at least five years and a fine of at least Rs. 15,000 or the amount of the dowry, whichever is greater.


• Penalty for dowry demand (section 4) - Section 4 states that anyone who directly or indirectly requests dowry from the parents, relatives, or guardians of the bride or the bridegroom will be subject to a minimum six-month sentence and a maximum two-year sentence, as well as a fine that could reach ten thousand rupees.


In “Pandurang Shivram Kawathkar v. State of Maharashtra”[21], the Supreme Court ruled that it is unlawful to just demand dowry before marriage.


In “Bhoora Singh v. State of Uttar Pradesh”[22], the court determined that before being set on fire by her in-laws, the deceased had written to her father about being abused, harassed, and threatened with dire consequences for not paying the demanded dowry. As a result, the offence of dowry demand under section 4 had been committed by them.


• Ban on advertising (section 4-A) - Section 4-A states that anyone who advertises in a newspaper, journal, or through another medium offering a share of their property, business, money, or other assets in exchange for marriage will be subject to a minimum six-month sentence and a maximum five-year sentence, as well as a fine that can reach 15,000 rupees.


Section 7 states that an offence under this Act must be tried by a judge who is at least a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of First Class. 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.


Section 8 of this Act states that some offences are cognizable, non-bailable, and non-compoundable.


The practise of dowry has a number of negative impacts on society and has reduced the lovely institution of marriage to a simple exchange of gifts and demands for expensive assets in return for marriage. Following are a few social ills that the dowry system itself brings about:


Female foeticide — Despite the widespread support for legislation that forbid it, the data on it are significantly higher than one might anticipate. One of the main justifications for this practise is the belief that if a female child were to be born, she would become a financial burden on her parents due to the high cost of her marriage. People believe that it is preferable to eliminate the "Female Child," which is the source of the issue.


• Suicide by Young Girls - When parents are unable to arrange a marriage for their daughters due to dowry, this frequently results in harassment for the family, which in turn drives the young girls to take their own lives to end the mental anguish they are causing.


• Lack of education for girls: Many families decide against providing their daughters with a good education in order to save money that could be used for dowry.


• Parents or other family members often subject girls to mental harassment because they believe that they need to be given a large amount of dowry in order to marry them off. These constant taunts and statements not only mentally harass the girls, but also cause them to develop an inferiority complex.[23]



According to 2017 statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau, it can be stated with a high degree of certainty that dowry-related crimes are a serious problem in India and that many manufactured cases have been used to smear the accused. This claim is supported by the simple fact that, while the police have charged the accused in approximately 93.7% of cases, only 34.7% have resulted in convictions.


Dowry deaths have also been on the rise in the nation year after year. There were 4668 dowry fatalities in the nation in 1995; this number increased to 6787 in 2005; and then increased even more to 7634 in 2015. Currently, it is a heartbreaking figure that up to 21 women die each day as a result of this societal ill. Recent stats show that out of 3,72,706 active cases, 3,17,000 are expected to conclude in acquittals.[24]



Laws protecting women have been enacted, however there have been instances of women misusing these protections. There have been numerous examples of improper acquisition and egregious abuse of these rights. When a wife's requests are not granted or if the marriage is in crisis for any other reason, she will frequently file a false report with the local police department, resulting in the husband and/or his family being jailed without further investigation. There have even been cases where the husband or members of his family have committed themselves during their trial due to the shame caused by these false charges. The total number of reported False Cases linked to Dowry Deaths in the year 2016 was 254, while the total number of reported False Cases related to cruelty by the husband or his family against the wife in the year 2016 was 6,745. These numbers are from the NCRB Report, 2016.

 “The Hon'ble Supreme Court correctly observed in the case of Sushil Kumar Sharma v. Union of India20 that section 498-A of the I.P.C. was added for the protection of women, but that it is being wilfully misapplied and described as “Legal Terrorism.”[25]


“On the one side, there have been countless cases of women manipulating the law with the purpose of having their male partner and his family members wrongly convicted of a crime they did not commit. Various dowry-related rules and statutes were enacted to safeguard women from the social ill of dowry in the culture. In certain instances, women accuse men of wrongdoing in an attempt to hurt them and their families. The following case laws address the subject of the misuse of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code: The Honourable Court stated unequivocally in the case of Savitri Devi v. Ramesh Chandra &Ors.[26] that "There has been a major exploitation of the laws to such a level that it was striking the foundation of marriage itself and the same was deemed to be Not Good for the society at large. In the landmark case of Jasbir Kaur v. State of Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court made the following observation- It is well-known that an estranged wife will go to any length to enlist as many relatives of the husband as possible in a desperate attempt to salvage what remains of an estranged marriage.”


(A) STRICTLY ADHERING TO THE NINE POINT PLAN – The police must follow this plan strictly before making any arrests, as suggested by the Supreme Court of India in 2014.


(B) TIME BOUND HEARING—Making dowry-related hearings time-limited will promote quick and effective case resolution and prompt justice.


(C) OFFENCE SHOULD BE MADE COMPOUNDABLE-Dowry-related provisions, in particular section 498A, should be made compoundable so that a woman has the chance to correct her error if she files a false case and can avoid her family and the people involved in the case from experiencing mental instability.


(D) IT SHOULD BE MADE BAILABLE TO COMMIT THE OFFENSE- Because it is not bailable, Section 498A is the law that is most frequently misapplied. Many innocent persons would avoid social disgrace if the offence was bailable. Senior folks and children who are just entering their teenage years will also be safe and not required to undergo unnecessary custody.


(E) VERIFICATION OF THE COUPLE'S SOCIAL STATUS - By verifying a couple's social standing, the court will be better equipped to assess the case's merits and determine proportionate remedies that will benefit families. In most cases, the lady asks more than is acceptable if a marriage is dissolved ex-parte for any reason, thus this move will also help to oppose the exaggerated demand.


(F) RIGID SCREENING PROCESS OVER THE CASE - Senior administrative officers are required to carefully observe the hearings and proceedings of dowry-related problems so that the lady has a good reason to be alarmed.


(G) MALICIOUS PROSECUTION CASES SHOULD BE STARTED AGAINST THE WOMAN IF THE ACCUSED IS PROVEN. INNOCENT- By taking this move, women will be less inclined to make false accusations against males because they will be more realistically worried about the consequences of doing so.



 “This essay elaborated at length on the subject of Dowry. Dowry is a social evil that must be eradicated immediately so that women are no longer subjected to maltreatment in the community after marriage and can live lives free from degrading conditions. This research study also explored several laws and legislation connected to the issue of dowry-related crimes, as well as India's current situation and standing in resolving the problem. The article elaborated on the Indian Evidence Act of 1872, Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code of 1860, the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961, and the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005. As part of the investigation's conclusion, a few suggested modifications were briefly examined. In addition, there was much uncertainty over a few terms listed in the section, but the court has repeatedly clarified the ambiguity and confirmed the GUARDIAN nature of the society. Women should be informed of their rights so they can speak out against injustice in society and help make the world a better place to live.”


“It can now be concluded that the Government of India, under the guidance of the country's judicial body, has established the most reasonable, cooperative, and supportive provisions and laws to protect women's interests, lives, and dignity, and to provide justice to those who have suffered as a result of harassment, cruelty, and dowry deaths. The infamous problem of dowry demand in our country must still be removed or severely curtailed, but the public must have the will and commitment to resist this selfish and socially reprehensible demand for dowry. Similar to the saying where there is light, there is also shadow, there have been cases of women misusing the laws and procedures designed to aid and protect them in order to provide them with justice and safeguard them from dowry harassment. Since an appreciable period of time, these rights and provisions have been abused. The same smart, educated, and knowledgeable politicians who drafted these rules with the goal of protecting women from the heinous crime of dowry must correct this deficiency.”[27]







[1] [1]  https://www.worldwidejournals.com


[2] “Law Relating to Dowry, Dowry Death, Cruelty to Women, and Domestic Violence, 534 (Universal Law Publication Co., New Delhi, 2013).”

[3] “The Soft Target-Crime Against Women, by Arunima Baruah, page 149 (Kilaso Books, New Delhi, 2004)”

[4] “Marriage, Dowry, Practice, and Divorce by S. Gokilavani (Regal Publications, New Delhi, 2008).”

[5] “Dowry and the Status of Women in India by Madan C. Paul (Inter-India Publications, New Delhi, 1986).”

[6] “The Imperial Origins of a Cultural Crime: Dowry Murder. written by Veena Talwar Oldenburg.”

[7] http://oaji.net/articles


[8]  www.iblogpleaders.com


[9] www.iblogpleaders.com

[10] www.penacclaims.com

[11] MANU/SC/0361/2021

[12] Roundup.manupatra.in

[13] www.ijsr.net

[14] www.scconline.com

[15] https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/handle/10603/305573

[16] www.scconline.com

[17] www.indiacode.nic.in

[18] https://legislative.gov.in

[19] 2022 Latest Caselaw 4447 Ori

[20] ndiankanoon.org/doc/258994/

[21] “https://www.law.cornell.edu/women-and-justice/resource/pandurang_shivram_kawathkar_v_state_of_maharashtra.”

[22] https://thefactfactor.com/tag/bhoora-singh-v-state-of-u-p/

[23] “Dowry Prohibition Act, Encyclopedia Britannica, 24 April 2022,”

“www.britannica.com/event/Dowry-Prohibition-Act, Sharmila Lodhia. 2 November 2022. Accessed.”

[24] “Crime in India, 2016 - National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry of Home Affairs, New Delhi, India.”

[25] www.academia.com

[26] 2003 CriLJ 2759, 104 (2003) DLT 824, II (2003) DMC 328, 2003 (69) DRJ 6

[27] “https://www.academia.edu/36168706/Dowry Death and Dowry System in India Research Paper by Dev Raizada”


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