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May 16, 2024

Daily Legal Current Affairs for PCS (J) Judiciary 16 May 24 : Dowry Prohibition Officers; Dowry Prohibition Acts

Why in News ? The Allahabad HC directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file an affidavit on whether Dowry Prohibition Officers have been appointed to oversee that the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act are complied with.

The court passed the order while hearing a petition filed by one Ankit Singh and others.

  • It is then imperative that the steps taken by such Dowry Prohibition officers towards implementation of the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act is shown in respect of preparation of the list of presents given in the marriage as per section 3(2) of the Dowry Prohibition Act. The State Government shall also disclose the orders issued for implementation of the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985.

About Section 3 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961:

It deals with the penalty for giving or taking dowry. Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

Offense and Punishment:

Prohibited Actions: It states that giving, taking, or abetting the giving or taking of dowry is a punishable offense.

Penalty:

  • Imprisonment: A minimum of five years.
  • Fine: Heavier of two amounts –
  • Fifteen thousand rupees (₹15,000)
  • The value of the dowry received

Court Discretion: There’s a provision for the court to impose a lesser sentence with proper justification mentioned in the judgment.

Dowry Definition (Covered under Section 2):

  • Dowry refers to any property or valuable security given or promised directly or indirectly:
  • By either party to the marriage to the other party.
  • By parents of either party or any other person to either party or someone else.
  • This can happen before, at the time of, or even after the marriage.

Exceptions (Not Dowry):

  • Presents given to the bride at the wedding without any demand, provided they are listed as per the rules (refer to Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985 for details on those lists).

Presents given to the bridegroom at the wedding without any demand.

The Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985 :

They are a set of regulations in India aimed at clarifying what constitutes dowry and protecting spouses from false accusations.

Purpose:

  • To distinguish between dowry and customary wedding gifts.

Key Points:

  • Differentiation between Dowry and Gifts: The Dowry Prohibition Act prohibits demanding or receiving dowry, which is property or money demanded from the bride’s family. These rules clarify that gifts given willingly by the bride’s or groom’s family/friends at the wedding are not considered dowry.

Maintaining a Gift List:

  • Both bride and groom are required to maintain a written list of presents received at the wedding.
  • The list should include a brief description, approximate value, donor’s name, and their relation to the couple (if applicable).

Both bride and groom must sign the list. Provisions are there for those unable to sign.

Benefits:

  • Reduces False Dowry Harassment: By maintaining a record of gifts, these rules can help couples defend against false accusations of dowry harassment, which can be a serious issue in India.
  • Clarity on Dowry vs. Gifts: The rules provide a clearer distinction between what is considered dowry (illegal) and customary gifts (acceptable).

Came into Effect:

  • The Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules came into effect on October 2nd, 1985.

 

 

 


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