Dowry is an ancient system under which the parents of the bride pay the bridegroom and/or his parents money, goods or estate, honoring the bridegroom’s willingness to accept the bride in marriage. Dowry or Dahej as referred to in India. Dowry related to the Hindu customs of Kanyadan and Stridhan.
There are some non sense explanation given for Dowry Practice such as ill-treatment of bride in future, groom and his family taking the responsibility of bride for the rest of her life, set-up of newly weds, compensation to the groom’s parents for the amount they have spend in educating and upbringing their son, etc.
Dowry describe as a Social Evil. The Prohibit this evil The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 was passed. It came into force on July 1, 1961 and extends to the Whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
There are several amendments were also made in Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section. 498-A of IPC deals with Punishment for cruelty to the wife by husband for Dowry Deaths.
Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, Dowry means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly- (1) by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage, or (2) by the parents or either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person- at or before or any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage of said parties.
As per conditions some part of society not covered under this term dowry, that is-
a. Dower or Mahr under Muslim Personal Law .
b. Parents of bride given their own consent and love & affection towards their daughter.
Under Section 5 of the said Act, any Agreement for the giving or taking of Dowry has been Declared to be Void.
Section 3 of the said Act, if any person gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of Dowry, he shall be punishable with Imprisonment for a term of not less than Five Years and with Fine of not less than Rs.15,000 or the amount of the value of such Dowry, whichever is more.
Section 4 of the said Act, if any person demands, directly or indirectly from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom as the case may be punishable with imprisonment of not less than Six Months but extend Two Years with Fine extend Rs.10,000.
Section 4-A Dowry Advertisement also punishable.
All offences under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 are Declared to be Non-Bailable and Non-Compoundable. Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 apply to such offences as if they were Congnizable offences. (Section 8)
As per Section 8-B the Appointment of Dowry Prohibition Officers for prevent the such social evil like Dowry.