304B DOWRY DEATH

INTRODUCTION

Dowry death is defined in section 304B of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Also Section 113B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 states the presumption as to dowry death.
Dowry Death
Section 304B of the IPC states that if a women dies within 7 years of marriage by any burns or bodily injury or it was revealed that before her marriage she was exposed to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any other relative of the husband in connection to demand dowry then the death of the women will be considered as a dowry death.
Punishment for dowry death is a minimum sentence of imprisonment for 7 years or a maximum sentence of imprisonment for life.
Essential Ingredients

  1. Death should be caused by burns or bodily injury or by any other circumstances.
  2. Death must occur within the 7 years of marriage.
  3. It must be revealed that soon before her marriage she was exposed to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any other relative.
  4. The cruelty or harassment on her should be in connection with the demand for dowry.
    Demand for Dowry
    As per Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 which says that dowry is any property or valuable security directly or indirectly agreed by-
    a) By one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage
    b) By the parent of either party to a marriage or by any other person, at or before or any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage of the said parties.
    Case law
    State of Himachal Pradesh vs. Nikku Ram and OR’s on 30 August 1995
    In the case, the couple was married and after 5-6 months of their marriage husband, sister-in-law and mother-in-law started taunting the wife of the husband for bringing less dowry. They started demanding several things from her which was not fulfilled by her. The prosecutor filed a case for torturing the deceased and subjected her to cruelty in order to make her bring more dowry.
    She was unable to tolerate the ill-treatment by her husband and by her in-laws oh her, as a result, she committed suicide by consuming naphthalene balls and died.
    During the investigation, the sharp-edged blade was recovered and the after completion of the investigation husband, sister-in-law and mother-in-law were charged under the section of 304-B, 306 and 498-A of the IPC code. And the case against them was registered.
    Conclusion
    By enacting strict laws in society it can be controlled but can’t put an end to it. Even if the girl complains to her parents about the torture she faces by the husband’s family the parents of the girl opt to compromise instead of bringing it to the light. The laws and support from society together can solve the issue.

Aishwarya Says:

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