Dowry Under Dowry Prohibition Act


The word “Dowry” is a word commonly used in Indian families. It is a practice that has infiltrated Indian culture and damaged the marriage arrangement. It is not a new practice, but it has been practiced for centuries, and its influence on Indian culture is so great that even though efforts may be made to minimize it, it will not be completely eliminated. Several laws have been adopted to limit the practice of bribery, although legal catch is weaker than the scope of work. In addition, the essay will list the social and legal consequences of bribery, as well as its various other aspects.

What is dowry?

According to section 2 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, the term “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[1], or

(b) By the parent 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 anytime after the marriage] [in connection with the marriage of the said parties, but does not include] dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat).[2]

Legal framework in India for prohibiting dowry

Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

  • Penalty for giving and taking dowry (Section 3)

According to Section 3, anyone who gives or takes dowry or aids or abets the giving or taking of dowry after the commencement of the Act shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than five years and a fine of not less than fifteen thousand rupees or the value of the dowry, whichever is greater.[3]

  • Penalty for demanding dowry (section 4)

According to section 4, anybody who directly or indirectly seeks dowry from the bride’s or bridegroom’s parents, relatives, or guardians shall be penalised with imprisonment for not less than six months and up to two years, as well as a fine of up to ten thousand rupees.

  • Ban on advertisement (section 4-A) 

According to Section 4-A, any person who advertises in any newspaper, journal, or through any other medium or offers a share in the property, business, money, etc. in consideration for marriage shall be punished with imprisonment for not less than six months and up to five years, or with a fine of up to fifteen thousand rupees.

  • Cognizance of offence

A judge not lower than the level of a Metropolitan Magistrate or Judicial Magistrate of First Class must try an offence under this Act, according to section 7. The court shall only take cognizance of the offence based on a report by the victim, the victim’s parents or relatives, a police report, or its own knowledge of the circumstances of the offence.

Penalty for demanding dowry

  • If any person demands, directly or indirectly, any dowry from the parents, other relatives, or guardians of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, he shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not less than six months but which may extend to two years and a fine not exceeding ten thousand rupees: Provided, however, that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgement, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months.

4-A. Prohibition on advertising.  If any person-

  1. offers, through any advertisement in any newspaper, magazine, journal, or other medium, a portion of his property or money, or both, as a share in any business or other interest in exchange for the marriage of his son or daughter or any other related,
  2. Publishes, or distributes any advertising referred to in Cl. (a), he shall be punished with imprisonment for a time not less than six months, but not less than five years, or with a fine of up to fifteen thousand rupees:

Provided, however, that the Court may impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months for appropriate and particular reasons to be stated in the decision.


“DOWRY” is a deeply ingrained tradition in Indian society that cannot be completely abolished. The mentality, philosophy, and psyche of Indians is a fundamental reason why this practise cannot be removed. In India, a boy is educated so that his parents may demand a large dowry when he marries. The better educated a guy is, and the more secure his financial condition, the greater dowry he receives. Similarly, the parents of females would educate their daughters extensively so that she can marry into a wealthy household. They are not hesitant to provide dowry because it has now become a habit, and despite several rules, only a small number of violators are prosecuted. This societal evil can only be removed if people’s mentalities change. When people realise that paying and receiving dowry is the same as selling your daughters and boys, the roots of the practise will begin to erode, and the practise will be completely destroyed, but that day appears to be a long way off.


[1]Arjun Dhondiba Kamble And Ors. vs The State Of Maharashtra,

[2]Rajeev And Ors. vs Ram Kishan Jaiswal And Anr,

[3]Pandurang Shivram Kawathkar v. State of Maharashtra

Aishwarya Says:

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.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.

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