Monday, 19 September 2011

THE DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961


THE DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961
(Act No. 28 of 1961)
(20th May, 1961)
An Act to prohibit the giving or taking of dowry

2. Definition of `dowry’.-In this act, `dowry’ means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly-

(a) by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage; or

(b) by the parents of 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 but does not include dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies.

3. Penalty for giving or taking dowry.-(1) If any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, and with the fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more:

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than five years.

4. Penalty for demanding dowry.- 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, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees:

Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.

7. Cognisance of offences.-

(2) Nothing in Chapter XXXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2of 1974), shall apply to any offence punishable under this Act.)

Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, a statement made by the person aggrieved by the offence shall not subject such person to a prosecution under this Act.

8-A. Burden of proof in certain cases.- Where any person is prosecuted for taking or abetting the taking of any dowry under Sec. 3, or the demanding of dowry under Sec.4, the burden of proving that he had not committed an offence under those sections shall be on him.

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