What is Dowry under the Act?
‘DOWRY’ means –
1.Any property or valuable security;
2.Given or agreed to be given;
3.Either directly or indirectly;
4.By one party of a marriage to other party to the marriage;
5.By the parents of one party to the parents of other party;
6.At or before or after the marriage;
7.In-connection with the marriage;
8.But does not include dower or mehr as per the Muslim Personal Law.
From the above definition, the following can be understood:-
1.Dowry shall be in the form of money, property valuable security like promissory note, gift deed etc;
2.It is either given or agreed to be given before, or at the time of marriage or after the marriage. ;
3.The giving or agreeing to give must be by one party to the other party. It need not be by bride only or alone;
4.It must be in-connection with the marriage.
What are the offences under the Act?
Section 3 – Giving or taking or abetting the giving or taking is punishable with not less than 5years and fine which shall not be less than Rupees 1500 whichever is more.
EXCEPTION: Presents given to the bride or bride-groom considering their financial status and if they are listed separately.
Section 4 – Demanding dowry directly or indirectly from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom as the case may shall be punishable with not less than 6 months extending up to 2 years and fine which may extend to Rupees 1,000.
What are the nature of Offences under Section 3 or Section 4?
1.Sections 3 and 4 are cognizable offences for the purpose of registration, non-bailable and non-compoundable.
2.They are triable by Metropolitian Magistrate or Judicial First Class Magistrate and they can impose the maximum punishment of 5years and rupees 15,000 fine.
3.Arrests can be made only by the order of the court.
4.Cognizance of offence can be taken by court only on a police report or suo-motto or complaint by aggrieved or recognized institution or guarding.