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Overview: Dowry is an archaic system which is still prevalent in certain areas of India, mostly rural. It refers to goods, cash, and movable property that the bride's family gives to the bridegroom, his parents, or his relatives at the time of marriage which serves as a pre-condition to marriage.
It essentially serves as a payment in cash or some kind of gifts given to the bridegroom's family along with the bride and could include cash, television, air conditioner, jewellery, automobile, electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils and other household items that could be used by the newlyweds after marriage. Gifts exchanged by the families would, however, not amount to dowry.
Although the acceptance of dowry is prohibited and punishable under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, economic, social and religious factors have ensured the continuance of this practice over the years.
Common instances include harassment by husband/in-laws/relatives resulting in cruelty, physical abuse, sexual abuse, injury by coercion, insult/humiliation etc.
Purpose: To afford overall protection to women who suffer abuse of any kind in their matrimonial life due to payment of dowry which is an ancient concept by itself. The Supreme Court has widened the scope of persons against whom relief can be sought to not only include the husband but also other family members who harass the aggrieved person.
Areas of Application of Law: Section 498A of Indian Penal Code, 1960, provisions of Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
Process: Below is the step by step process for addressing harassment for payment of dowry:
- Protection order- The court can pass a protection order which operates as a restraining order and prevents the respondent from entering the workplace, school or other places frequented by the aggrieved person or establishing any kind of communication with her, her relatives or doing any other act specified in the order.
- Residence order- The court can pass an order securing the aggrieved person’s right to reside in the household. Under this, a part of the house can be allotted to her for her personal use. It also ensures that the aggrieved person is her possessions are not alienated and in certain cases she could be provided an alternative accommodation by the respondent if she so requires.
- Custody order- The court may grant temporary custody of children to the aggrieved person and make arrangements for visit of such child by the respondent. It may also disallow such visits at al by the respondent if it is not in the best interest of the child.
- Monetary relief- the court could pass an order directing the respondent to pay the aggrieved person on account of expenses and losses incurred by the aggrieved person due to the harassment for dowry. This may include medical expenses, litigation costs, loss of earnings and payments towards maintenance of the aggrieved person and/or her children.
- Compensation Order: The respondent may be directed to pay compensation for damages or injury caused to the aggrieved person as a result of the acts of harassment for dowry. These cover the injury on account of mental torture/suffering and emotional distress.
Documents required to be submitted in the court if any: Marriage certificate, instances showing proof of harassment which could include medical reports showing injury suffered by the aggrieved person, family members’ information and background, emails/chats/messages showing constant demand for dowry or threats for the same.
Punishment/Expected Relief: The aggrieved person can be expected to secure freedom from harassment at the hands of her husband, in-laws or relatives. The punishment would be in the nature of a protection order, custody order, compensatory order or monetary relief.
1. It was held that the persistent demands of the accused for more money, their tortures for dowry amounted to instigation and abetment that compelled the aggrieved to take away her life- Shobha Rani vs Madhukar Reddi (https://indiankanoon.org/doc/1100461/)
2. The bride was burnt alive failing to fulfill the constant demand for dowry and the court held that cruelty plays an important role in such cases - Bhatnagar vs State Of Uttarakhand (https://indiankanoon.org/doc/155335344/)
New Delhi, IndiaProperty LawCriminal LawCriminal Acts
Bengaluru, IndiaIndirect Taxes/GST/VATDomestic ViolenceWill
Mumbai, IndiaIndirect Taxes/GST/VATCriminal LawCriminal Acts
Ghaziabad, IndiaJudicial SeparationDomestic Violence498A
Kolkata, IndiaDivorceAlimonyConjugal Rights
Bengaluru, IndiaIndirect Taxes/GST/VATDivorceAlimony
Gurugram, IndiaIndirect Taxes/GST/VATAlimonyProperty Law
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of the ratings, feedback or Documents/ Advice reviews: REGISTERED
USERS cannot submit abusive or inappropriate feedback entries,
coerce or threaten buyers into submitting feedback, submit
transaction feedback regarding them, or include personal information
about a transaction partner within a feedback entry. Furthermore,
any attempt to manipulate ratings of any REGISTERED USER is
prohibited. Any attempt to manipulate ratings, feedback, or
Documents/ Advice reviews is prohibited.
are important to the SoOLEGAL Platform, providing a forum for
feedback about Documents/ Advice and service details and reviewers'
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REGISTERED USERS are expected to conduct proper research to ensure that the items posted to our website are in compliance with all applicable laws. If we determine that the content of a Documents/ Advice detail page or listing is prohibited, potentially illegal, or inappropriate, we may remove or alter it without prior notice. SoOLEGAL reserves the right to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate.
following list of prohibited Documents/ Advices comprises two
sections: Prohibited Content and Intellectual Property
Listing prohibited content may result in the cancellation of your listings, or the suspension or removal of your transacting privileges. REGISTERED USERS are responsible for ensuring that the Documents/ Advices they offer are legal and authorised for Transaction or re-Transaction.
If we determine that the content of a Documents/ Advice detail page or listing is prohibited, potentially illegal, or inappropriate, we may remove or alter it without prior notice. SoOLEGAL reserves the right to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate.
Illegal and potentially illegal Documents/ Advices: Documents/ Advices sold on SoOLEGAL.in must adhere to all applicable laws. As REGISTERED USERS are legally liable for their actions and transactions, they must know the legal parameters surrounding any Documents/ Advice they display on our website.
Offensive material: SoOLEGAL reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of listings posted to our website.
Nudity: In general, images that portray nudity in a gratuitous or graphic manner are prohibited.
Items that infringe upon an individual's privacy. SoOLEGAL holds personal privacy in the highest regard. Therefore, items that infringe upon, or have potential to infringe upon, an individual's privacy are prohibited.
Intellectual Property Violations
Counterfeit merchandise: Documents/ Advices displayed on our website must be authentic. Any Documents/ Advice that has been illegally replicated, reproduced or manufactured is prohibited.
Books - Unauthorised copies of books are prohibited.
Movies - Unauthorised copies of movies in any format are prohibited. Unreleased/prereleased movies, screeners, trailers, unpublished and unauthorized film scripts (no ISBN number), electronic press kits, and unauthorised props are also prohibited.
Photos - Unauthorised copies of photos are prohibited.
Television Programs - Unauthorised copies of television Programs (including pay-per-view events), Programs never broadcast, unauthorised scripts, unauthorised props, and screeners are prohibited.
Transferred media. Media transferred from one format to another is prohibited. This includes but is not limited to: films converted from NTSC to Pal and Pal to NTSC, laserdisc to video, television to video, CD-ROM to cassette tape, from the Internet to any digital format, etc.
Promotional media: Promotional versions of media Documents/ Advices, including books (advance reading copies and uncorrected proofs), music, and videos (screeners) are prohibited. These Documents/ Advices are distributed for promotional consideration and generally are not authorized for Transaction.
Rights of Publicity: Celebrity images and/or the use of celebrity names cannot be used for commercial purposes without permission of a celebrity or their management. This includes Documents/ Advice endorsements and use of a celebrity's likeness on merchandise such as posters, mouse pads, clocks, image collections in digital format, and so on.
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