Marriage is considered a sacred relation in Indian community. But sometimes people demand dowry from the family of the bride. And if the demand of the husband or his family is not fulfilled a sense of revenge occurs in their mind. Dowry basically means transfer of cash or gifts or parental property from bride’s family to groom’s family. It can include anything that the family of the groom would demand. It is an ancient custom followed by most of the people in this country like any other ritual in marriage. If those requirements are mot fulfilled by the family of bride, in some cases there is a chance of harassment or torture that the bride must face from either his husband or form the family of his husband. This torture and harassment in certain cases leads to death of the bride, which is called dowry death. There are a lot of laws created to prevent or punish the people who are a part of dowry death, but due to the long procedure it takes a lot of time for the victim of dowry death to get justice. It will take a lot of time for a country like India to stop this kind of act from happening.
Legal Provision relating to Dowry:
- The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961: This is the first legislation enacted relating to dowry and lays down certain provisions and preventive measures.
- Indian Penal Code: Section 304-B of this act deals specifically with Dowry Death and punishes any person involved in dowry death. Section 498A of the act deals with cruelty on any woman by the husband or his family. Section 302 deals with intentional death of women, it punishes any person who intentionally causes death of a women. Section 306 deals with the situation and punishes the husband and his relatives who create a situation where the women have done suicide within seven years of marriage.
- Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973; Section 174 and 176 deals with provisions relating to investigation and enquiry relating to unnatural death of a women.
- India Evidence Act, 1872: Section 113B of this act was created regarding burden of proof relating to case of dowry death, in which it is stated that the burden of proof lies on the person who has shown to subject that woman to cruelty and harassment just before death.
Observing the increasing menace of dowry deaths and increasing cases that are filed before court relating to dowry death, the Supreme Court on 28th May, 2021, gave certain directions of dealing with these cases, saying the legal provisions relating to dowry should be interpreted keeping in mind the main intention and objective is to curb acts like bride burning and dowry demands. It also said that the courts should not take an approach to categorize the death as homicidal, suicidal, or accidental.
The Supreme Court also told the trial courts to take precautions while conducting trial in these cases. The court said that this matter is of grave importance and the trial courts take the statement of accused in a casual manner without asking any question to the accused on his defence and in some cases the family members of the husband are also roped in, even when they had nothing to do with it. So, the trail must be conducted with great precaution and all the steps should be taken to find the person responsible.
Obstacles in Implementation of Law:
- Social Factors: Minimum social support is given to the accused by the people of the society. There are no witnesses available in most of the cases relating to harassment, cruelty, or torture. Most of the accomplices of the husband are the family members and those who are not part of it are afraid to come forward because of family pressure.
- Police and Law Enforcement Authorities: There are cases where the practices of police authorities have caused the accused to be set free by the court because if lack of evidence found by the police authorities due to their lack of interest in finding them. Most of the cases of dowry death are termed a s suicide or accident by the police authorities.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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