The Dowry system in India refers to the durable goods, cash, and real or movable property that the bride’s family gives to the bridegroom, his parents, or his relatives as a condition of the marriage. It is essentially in the nature of a payment in cash or some kind of gifts given to the bridegroom’s family along with the bride and includes cash, jewellery, electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils and other household items that help the newlyweds set up their home.
The dowry system is thought to put great financial burden on the bride’s family. In some cases, the dowry system leads to crime against women, ranging from emotional abuse, injury to even deaths. The payment of dowry has long been prohibited under specific Indian laws including, the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code.
The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 article 3 specifies that the penalty for giving or taking dowry does not apply to presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride or bridegroom, when no demand for them have been made.Although Indian laws against dowries have been in effect for decades, they have been largely criticised as being ineffective. The practice of dowry deaths and murders continues to take place unchecked in many parts of India and this has further added to the concerns of enforcement.
Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code required the bridegroom and his family to be automatically arrested if a wife complains of dowry harassment. The law was wide abused and in 2014, the supreme court ruled that arrests can only be made with a magistrate’s approval.
Complainant can make complaint through many ways :-
- National commission for Women
- Near By Police Station