The Harms of Dowry and Cruelty

Women’s crime is rising. Only if those entrusted with executing the law are made aware of women’s hardships can the protection provided by the Indian Constitution and other laws be meaningful.


The Indian Penal Code does not describe dowry; instead, the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 does. It is defined in section as any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given directly or indirectly: by one party to a marriage to the other party to a marriage; in connection with the said parties’ marriage, by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person to either party to a marriage or to any other person at or before or at any time after the marriage (on three times).

Customary payments, on the other side, are common in numerous cultures, such as those made at the time of a child’s birth.

Both giving and receiving dowry is illegal:

The following laws were enhanced in conjunction with the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961:

  • The IPC’s Section 304B (dowry death)
  • The IPC Section 498A (cruelty by husband or his relatives)
  • IEA 113 B is a document published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) (presumption as to dowry death)

Death through Dowry:

The accused’s demand for dowry and harassment; the deceased’s death; and the deceased’s death occurred under unnatural circumstances are the three components required to establish the offence punishable under Section 304-B IPC.

A presumption of dowry death emerges when harassment for dowry payment occurs within seven years of the marriage and an unnatural death occurs within that time frame. When a death occurs as a result of the husband’s or in-laws’ mistreatment or harassment for dowry, and the death is untimely, this Section applies.

Section 498a of the IPC contains the following provisions:

The Criminal Law (Second Amendment) Act of 1983, which went into force on December 25, 1983, inserted Section 498-A to the Indian Penal Code. This section indicates concern for the weaker spouse’s safety. Women have been subjected to men’s whims and caprices throughout history, particularly in the husband-wife relationship.

The following components are listed in Indian Penal Code Section 498A:

  • The lady must be married; 
  • she must have been a victim of cruelty or harassment; and 
  • the woman’s spouse or a relative of her husband must have perpetrated the cruelty or harassment.

Those who subject a woman to abuse face a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine, according to Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code. Harassing a woman with the intention of coercing her or any person related to her into meeting any unlawful demand for property or valuable security or on the basis of her or any person related to her failure to meet such demand, according to Clause (b) of the Explanation to that Section, constitutes harassment.

Cruelty Under Sections 498a and 306 IPC:

The primary difference among Sections 498-A and 306 IPC is intent. Cruelty by the husband or his relatives pushes the wife to commit suicide under Section 498-A IP.C, whereas suicide is helped and arranged under Section 306 IPC. The definition of cruelty under Section 498A IPC and the repercussions under Section 306 IPC differ by individual and are also dependent on the subject’s social and economic status. Cruelty for the goal of committing an offence does not always have to be physical; in some situations, mental torment or aberrant behaviour can be considered cruelty and harassment. Of course, the intensity and degree of endurance of mental cruelty varies by personality; some may confront it with fortitude, while others suffer in quiet; for some, it may be horrific, to the point where a weak person considers suicide.


When a woman is abused, her dignity is violated. It’s one thing to say that the stresses of married life don’t have to lead to suicide; it’s quite another to say outright that one or two assaults on a woman are socially acceptable. Judges must be aware of the challenges that women face. The impact on a woman is fully dependent on the facts and circumstances of each event, and no generalization’s can be made on this topic.

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.


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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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