HOW TO PROCEED IN A CASE OF HARASSMENT DUE TO DOWRY DEMAND

 

Dowry prohibition and harassment for Dowry: The Dowry system in India refers to the durable goods, cash, and real or movable property that the bride's family gives to the bridegroom, his parents, or his relatives as a condition of the offence. It is essentially in the nature of a payment in cash or some kind of gifts given to the bridegroom's family along with the bride and includes cash, jewellery, electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils and other household items that help the newlyweds set up their home.  Dowry is referred to as Jahez in Muslim law (derived from Islamic jahez-e-fatimi). In far eastern parts of India, dowry is called Aaunnpot.

             

The dowry system is thought to put great financial burden on the bride's family. In some cases, the dowry system leads to crime against women, ranging from some injury, injury to even deaths. The payment of dowry has long been prohibited under specific Indian laws including, the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and subsequently by Sections 304B and 498A of the Indian Penal Code.

                        

A court  judgment clarifies the legal definition of dowry as unlawful demand.  “Dowry” in the sense of the expression contemplated by Dowry Prohibition Act is a demand 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 or his parents and/or guardian for the agreement to wed the bride-to-be.

             

The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 article 3 specifies that the penalty for giving or taking dowry does not apply to presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride or bridegroom, when no demand for them have been made.

             

Although Indian laws against dowries have been in effect for decades, they have been largely criticized as being ineffective. The practice of dowry deaths and murders continues to take place unchecked in many parts of India and this has further added to the concerns of enforcement.

Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code required the bridegroom and his family to be automatically arrested if a wife complains of dowry harassment. The law was widely abused and in 2014, the Court has ruled that arrests can only be made with a magistrate’s approval.

             

The victim or any relative of victim can file a complaint before the Police in respect of allegations for harassment due to dowry demand.

 

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.  Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.

Physical Abuse: Hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, hair pulling, etc are types of physical abuse. This type of abuse also includes denying a partner medical care or forcing alcohol and/or drug use upon him or her.

 

Emotional Abuse: Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem is abusive. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children.

 

Economic Abuse: Is defined as making or attempting to make an individual financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding one's access to money, or forbidding one's attendance at school or employment.

 

 

Psychological Abuse:

Elements of psychological abuse include  - but are not limited to - causing fear by intimidation; threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends; destruction of pets and property; and forcing isolation from family, friends, or school and/or work.

 

Domestic violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion, or gender. Domestic violence affects people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels. Domestic violence occurs in both opposite-sex and same-sex relationships and can happen to intimate partners who are married, living together, or dating.

 

Domestic violence not only affects those who are abused, but also has a substantial effect on family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses, and the community at large.

 

Registration of marriage is compulsory in India. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has given a ruling that the Marriage is compulsory for all religion all over the Country.

Some of the states in the Indian Union have enacted legislations to make marriage registration compulsory;

These states are Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra have also followed that the  Registration of marriage is compulsory.

 

By MR.KALYAN RAO PEDDI REDDI B.COM (HONS) IN COMPANY LAW & SECRETARIAL PRAC.  & BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION & ECONOMICS, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; LL.M (CONSITUTIONAL LAW of India), COMPARATIVE STUDY IN (U. S. American Constitution, Swiss Constitution, FRENCH CONSTITUTION & British Constitution),

C.E.O OF KALYAN LEGAL EXCEL CARE SERVICES ONLINE FOR CITIZENS & N.R.Is.

www.legalexcelcare.com

(LAUNCH: 1.1.2018),

Former District & Sessions Judge, now lives at HYDERABAD, INDIA

 

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