Dowry Related Laws – UPSC Prelims

  • Definition: The term dowry has not been defined in IPC but in Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. According to the act, it has been defined as any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given directly or indirectly:
    • By one party to a marriage to the other party to a marriage or
    • By the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person to either party to the marriage or any other person at or before or any time after (on three occasions) the marriage in connection with the marriage of the said parties.
  • However, customary payments as are prevalent in different societies, such as at the time of birth of child etc, are not covered within dowry.
  • Giving & taking dowry both are offences.
  • In addition to the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, following laws have been made more stringent namely,
    • Section 304B (dowry death) and Section 498A (cruelty by husband or his relatives) have been integrated into the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
    • Section 113 B (presumption as to dowry death) has been made part of the Indian Evidence Act (I.E.A.) so as to eradicate or at-least lower down this heinous act of dowry system and related deaths.
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