Dowry system

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  • 3. AcknowledgmentWe have taken efforts in this project. However, it would not have been possiblewithout the kind support and help of PROF.Rashmi. We would like to extend mysincere thanks to her.We highly indebted to her, for their guidance and constant supervision as well asfor providing necessary information regarding the project & also for the support incompleting the project.We would like to express our gratitude towards our parents & member of for theirkind co-operation and encouragement which help in completion of this project.Our thanks and appreciations also go to my colleague in developing the project andpeople who have willingly helped me out with their abilities.
  • 4. Index Topic Page noHistory. 1Wad the dowry is? 2-3Introduction to dowry. 4Ancient marriage rites in the vedic period. 5-6List of amending acts. 7-10Penalty for demanding dowry. 11-15Reasons for dowry increase. 16-19Dowry prohibition. 20The way forward. 21Skit 22-24Conclusion 25
  • 5. HistoryIn India dowry (known as Daheji in Hindhi) is the payment in cash or some kind ofgifts given to bridegrooms family along with the bride. Generally they includecash, jewellery electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils andother household items that help the newly-wed set up her home.In India the dowry system has been putting great financial burden on the daughtersfamily. It has been one of the reasons for families and women in India resortingto sex selection favoring to have a son. This has distorted the sex ratio of the India(933 females per thousand males )and have given rise to female foeticide. Thepayment of a dowry has been prohibited under The 1961 Dowry ProhibitionAct in Indian civil law and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498a of the IndianPenal Code (IPC).Dowry originated in the upper caste families as an insurance to the bride to takecare of herself and her children during crisis. The rich and rajas (kings) used to giftland as dowry. Mumbai was presented as part of the dowry when PrincessCatherine de Braganza of Portugal was married to King Charles II in 1661. Thedowry has been considered as Stridhan where stri means women and dhanmeans wealth.
  • 6. What the dowry is?Dowry (dahej) is one of the most ancient practices of India. Punishment Dowrysystem is as old as man is. The dowry system is a social evil. It is prevalent in allparts of India and almost in all the countries of the world. In India many of thetraditional customs have been given up, but the custom of dowry has It is the cash,precious jewellery and other important thing given to the daughter in her marriage.This evil is found in almost every community . Now dowry is demanded by thegroom‟s parents and marriage takes place only if a certain amount of dowry is paidby the bride‟s parents. Today dowry is given as compensation to the groom‟s Indiais suffering from many social evils and superstitions. Dowry System is one ofthem.Parents ask for the amount they have spent in educating and upbringing their son.It is also considered a status symbol, especially in the high class, and generally theitems of dowry are flaunted and hyped by both parties. Many young womencommit suicide because of this system. Their parents can not collect the requiredfund. To fulfill the demands of the girl‟s in laws they borrow money or evensometimes they put their property on mortgage. It has become truly difficult to findthe suitable match for the girl without giving the demanded dowry. Nowadays,marriage has become a kind of business and misuse of girls parents. The parentsthose boys are highly educated and getting handsome package demand enormousdowry for marriage of their son. The demand of dowry is according to thequalification of the boy. Even today when there are broad minded people still thesystem of dowry has not being abolished. Marriages are longer the combination ofhearts; it is just the kind of business transaction. Even the rich parents of the boydo no feel shame in begging dowry. The system of dowry in India is a very seriousmatter and a black spot on the Indian society. Except India the dowry system is notfound in any other country. From this it could be easily observed that the womenare not treated equally and fairly as men. After marriage also they are treated badlyand harassed by her in laws for dowry. And still there is no end of it.Dowry system is against the law of equality between man and woman. Todaydowry is considered as the crime, both giving and taking. Thousands of cases hasbeing observed every year but only few of them put to court for not only
  • 7. continued, but flourished over the years. Even in the old age the dowry system wasin vogue and dowry was used as means for striking a good match. In due coursedowry became an integral part of the marriage institution and is generally acceptedBy the socity as necessary evil.custom of dowry has become widespread. Even before the marriage, the amount tobe given as dowry is discussed and settled with the change of time. The contents ofdowry have undergone a great change. The boy‟s parents openly demand moneyand other items which include car, scooter, fridge, colourT.V. etc. The rate ofdowry changes according to the qualification of the boy. There are “rates” fixed forI.A.S.,I.P.S., P.C.S., I.E.S. officers and qualified engineers and doctors. In fact, aregular marriage cannot be held and a marriage without dowry is almostunthinkable.Why this social evil prevail in India?There are several reasons for the prevalence of the dowry system, but the main oneis that it is a necessary precondition for marriage. “No dowry, no marriage,” is awidespread fear.. The price tag for the groom is now bigger and bolder. Familiesarrange most marriages, and a man who does not marry for love learns he canmarry for possessions. For this man, and his family, a woman becomes the ticket toshortcut riches through the system of dowry. There are a number of things peopledesire to have in their own houses but cannot afford; they use the opportunity of ason‟s marriage to get them. The girl‟s parents do not protest against thIs, as theyregard it as a stepping-stone towards higher social status and better matches for theremaining children. Now the guy who is to be married is sold in the market. Itseems that the people put their bets on the guys and who will bet more cam marrytheir daughter to him.
  • 8. Introduction to DowryThe basic definition of dowry have remained unclear. As discussed by Menski(1998), there are definitely several concepts of dowry which interlink with eachother.Some writers have defined dowry as wealth given to a daughter at her marriage forcontributing to the practical life of the newly married couple. They are transfersgiven from parents to the daughter to take with her into marriage. Technically, theproperty belongs to the wife and ought to stay within her control, though thehusband usually has rights of management. Corresponding to the spirit of thedowry institution, dowry given to a wife ought to form part of the conjugal estate,to be enjoyed by husband and wife and to be transmitted in time to their children(Tambiah, 1973).Another definition to dowry is the property a woman brings to the marriagepartnership. In this meaning, dowry can be the dowry a bride receives from herparents, property she previously inherited and brings to the marriage, or propertyshe owns as a widow and brings when she remarries (Nazzari, 1991; Birge, 2002).Dowry has also been referred to as a gift or transfer by a brides family to thegroom or his family at the time of marriage. Dowry as bequest have given way togroomprice, a direct transfer to the groom, in numerious historical instances(Anderson, 2007). This form of transfer has been termed by M. N. Srinivas,leading Indian Sociologist, as "new dowry" (Menski, 1998) and Anderson (2003)as "real dowry payments". Studies have shown that the crux of the dowry problemappears to lie with this particular concept of dowry (Menski, 1998; Dalmia andLawrence, 2005, etc.).
  • 9. Ancient Marriage Rites In The VedicPeriodThe ancient marriage rites in the Vedic period are associated with Kanyadan. It is laiddown in Dharamshastara that the meritorious act of Kanyadan is not complete till thebridegroom was given a dakshina. So when a bride is given over to the bridegroom, hehas to be given something in cash or kind which constitute varadakshina. ThusKanyadan became associated with varadakshina i.e. the cash or gifts in kind by theparents or guardian of the bride to the bridegroom. The varadakshina was offered out ofaffection and did not constitute any kind of compulsion or consideration for themarriage. It was a voluntary practice without any coercive overtones. In the course oftime, the voluntary element in dowry has disappeared and the coercive element hascrept in. it has taken deep roots not only in the marriage ceremony but also post-maritalrelationship. What was originally intended to be a taken dakshina for the bridegroomhas now gone out of proportions and has assumed the nomenclature dowry.The social reformers of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have strivenhard for the abolition of various social evils including the evil of dowry system.Long before India gained independence, then the provincial Government of Sindpassed an enactment known as "Sind Deti Leti Act, 1939" with a view to dealeffectively with the evils of dowry system but the enactment had neither anyimpact nor could create the desired effect. During the last few decades the evils ofdowry system has taken an acute form in almost all parts of the country and inalmost all the sections of society. In a bid to eradicate this evil from the society, theState Governments of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh enacted "The Bihar DowryRestraint Act, 1950" and "The Andhra Pradesh Dowry Prohibition Act, 1958" forthe respective States, but both these enactments failed to achieve the objectives forwhich they were enacted.Causes for the System of Dowry in India
  • 10. The factors and forces responsible for the practice of dowry in India are: earlymarriages for girls, limited field of marriage, hypergamy, patriarchy, importance ofeducation a false sense of prestige, materialistic attitude and economic prosperity.Consequences of the of Dowry SystemThe consequences or demerits of dowry system include: female infanticide, latemarriages for some girls, unsuitable matches for girls, lowering of womens status,breakdown of marriage, unhappy married life, tension between two families,increase in immorality, increase in mental diseases, suicide and impoverishment ofmiddle class families by paying heavy dowries and a large number of dowrydeaths.
  • 11. List Of Amending Acts1. The Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1984. 2. The Dowry Prohibition(Amendment) Act, 1986.(1) This Act may be called the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.(2) It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.(3) It shall come into force on such date 1as the Central Government may, bynotification in the Official Gazette, appoint.1. Came into force on 1-7-1961 vide S.O. 1410, dated 20-6-1961. In this Act, "dowry" means any property or valuable security given or agreed tobe given either directly or indirectly.(a) By one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage, or(b) By the parent of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to eitherparty to the marriage or to any other person,at or before or any time after themarriage in connection with the marriage of the said parties, but does not include]dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat)applies.(i) The word „dowry‟ should be any property or valuable given or agreed to be given inconnection with the marriage. The customary payments in connection with birth of childor other ceremonies are not involved within ambit of dowry; Satbir Singh v. State ofPunjab, AIR 2001 SC 2828.(ii) “Dowry” in the sense of the expression contemplated by Dowry Prohibition Act is ademand for property of valuable security having an inextricable nexus with the marriage,i.e., it is a consideration from the side of the bride‟s parents or relatives to the groom orhis parents and/or guardian for the agreement to wed the bride-to-be. But where thedemand for property or valuable security has no connection with the consideration for
  • 12. the marriage, it will not amount to a demand for dowry; Arjun Dhondiba Kamble v. Stateof Maharashtra, 1995 AIHC 273.(iii) Any property given by parents of the bride need not be in consideration of themarriage, it can even be in connection with the marriage and would constitute dowry;Rajeev v. Ram Kishan Jaiswal, 1994 Cri LJ NOC 255 (All).(iv) The definition of dowry is wide enough to include all sorts of properties, valuablesecurities, etc., given or agreed to be given directly or indirectly; Vemuri VenkateswaraRao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1992 Cri LJ 563 AP HC.(v) There had been no agreement between either parties to give any property orvaluable security to the other party at or before or after the marriage. The demand ofT.V., refrigerator, gas connection, cash of Rs. 50,000 and 15 tolas of gold are notdemand of dowry but demand of valuable security in view of section 2; Shankar PrasadShaw v. State, I (1992) DMC 30 Cal.(vi) While dowry signifies presents given in connection with marriage to the bridal coupleas well as others, Stridhan is confined to property given to or meant for the bride;Hakam Singh v. State of Punjab, (1990) 1 DMC 343.(vii) Dowry, means, any property given or agreed to be given by the parents of a party tothe marriage at the time of the marriage or before marriage or at any time after themarriage in connection with the marriage. So, where the husband had demanded a sumof Rs. 50,000 some days after the marriage from his father-in-law and on not beinggiven became angry, tortured the wife and threatened to go for another marriage, it washeld that the amount was being demanded in connection with the marriage and it was ademand for dowry though it was demanded after the marriage; Y.K. Bansal v. Anju, AllLJ 914.(viii) The furnishing of a list of ornaments and other household articles such asrefrigerator, furniture, electrical appliances, etc., at the time of the settlement of themarriage amounts to demand of dowry within the meaning of section 2 of the DowryProhibition Act, 1961; Madhu Sudan Malhotra v. K.C. Bhandari, 1988 BLJR 360 (SC).(ix) A sum of money paid by a Mohemmadan in connection with his daughter‟s marriageto prospective bridegroom for the purchase of a piece of land in the joint name of hisdaughter and would-be son-in-law is not „dowry‟ within the meaning of the Act; KunjuMoideen v. Syed Mohamed, AIR 1986 Ker 48.(x) Where the demand was made after the marriage for the purchase of a car, it washeld that it did not fall within the definition; Nirdosh Kumar v. Padma Rani, 1984 (2) RecCr R 239.
  • 13. (xii) Definition of ‟dowry‟ is not restricted to agreement or demand for payment ofdowry before and at the marriage but also includes demands made subsequent tomarriage; State of Andhra Pradesh v. Raj Gopal Asawa, AIR 2004 SCW 1566.(xiii) Demand of dowry in respect of invalid marriage would not be legallyrecognisable; Reena Aggarwal v. Anupam, AIR 2004 SC 1418.1. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 2, for “or after the marriage” (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).2. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 2, for certain words (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).3. Explanation I omitted by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 2 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985)If any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or takes or abets thegiving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a termwhich shall not be less than five years, and with fine which shall not be less thanfifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever ismoreProvided that the Court may, for a adequate and special reasons to be recorded inhe judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of a term of less than five years.shall apply to, or in relation to:-(a) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without anydemand having been made in that behalf).(b) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bridegroom (withoutany demand having been made in that behalf).Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with therules made under this Act.Provided further that where such presents are made by or on behalf of the bride orany person related to the bride, such presents are of a customary nature and thevalue thereof is not excessive having regard to the financial status of the person bywhom, or on whose behalf, such presents are given .
  • 14. (i) Section 3 does not contravene articles 14, 19, 21 and 22 of the Constitution andtherefore this section is not ultra vires of the said articles; Indrawati v. Union ofIndia, I (1991) DMC 117 (All).(ii) The offence is founded in the relationship of the property demanded as abettorwith the nature of demand. It should not bear a mere connection with marriage;Madan Lal v. Amar Nath, (1984) 2 Rec Cr. 581.(iii) Abetment is a preparatory act and connotes active complicity on the part of theabettor at a point of time prior to the actual commission of the offence;Muthummal v.Maruthal, 1981 Cr. LJ 833 (Mad).1. Section 3 re-numbered as sub-section (1) thereof by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3(w.e.f. 2-10-1985).2. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3, for certain words (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).3. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 3, for certain words (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).4. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 3, for “six months” (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).5. Ins. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985)..-
  • 15. Penalty For Demanding DowryPenalty for demanding dowry.- If any person demands, directly or indirectly,from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom, as the casemay be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term whichshall not be less than six months, but which may extend to two years and with finewhich may extend to ten thousand rupees.Provided that the Court may, for a adequate and special reasons to be mentioned inthe judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than sixmonths. (i) The mere demand of dowry before marriage is an offence; (ii) The offence of demanding dowry stood committed even before the marriage was performed and also when the demand was repeated again and again after the performance of marriage in respect of the same items of dowry; (iii) The deceased had before being set on fire by her in-laws written a letter to her father that she was being ill-treated, harassed and threatened of dire consequences for non-satisfaction of demand of dowry. Thereby proving that an offence of demanding dowry under section 4 had been committed; (iv) There had been no agreement between either parties to the marriage nor their relations to give any property or valuable security to the other party at or before or after the marriage. Held that the demand of TV, refrigerator, gas connection, cash of Rs. 50,000 and 15 tolas of gold will not amount to demand of dowry but demand of valuable security and the said offence does not attract section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act;
  • 16. (v) Furnishing of a list of ornaments and other household articles at the time of settlement of marriage amounts to demand of dowry and accused are liable to be convicted under section 4. (vi) Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act is not ultra vires nor does it contrav
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