The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 | #LawExplainers
Editor’s note: #LawExplainers is a series by FII and Nyaaya, which explores laws on women, children and marginalised groups and explains them in a simple and accessible language in both English and Hindi. 

What is this law about?

  • This Act prohibits the practice of giving or taking of dowry by either parties to a marriage. This law also punishes demanding and advertising dowry.
  • It imposes a duty on parties getting married to make a list of gifts and presents.
  • If dowry has been exchanged at a wedding anyway, it imposes a duty on the person who is given dowry to give it to the bride.
  • Note that the more serious crimes in relation to dowry such as dowry death and cruelty from dowry demands are punishable under the general law on crimes – the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

Who can be punished under this Act?

  • Any person who gives or takes dowry (minimum punishment of five years);
  • Any person who helps someone to give or take dowry;
  • Anyone who in any way demands dowry;
  • Anyone who advertises and offers to give money or property in return for marrying his son, daughter or relative;
  • Anyone who publishes these advertisements;
  • Anyone who does not hand over the dowry to the bride within the specified time.

Read the entire act here.

Also read: Another Domestic Violence Story; Yes, Dowry Is Still Rampant In India

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