Dowry Harassment

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Dowry Harassment : Act, Punishment, and Process to File Case

Updated on July 08, 2024 07:59:46 AM

Dowry Harassment is torturing a wife for money, property, or other valuable assets by a husband or his family and relatives. It is a punishable offence under the law but still practiced in many rural areas of India.

If you are someone who is a victim of dowry harassment or charged against a false dowry harassment case, then this page is for you. Continue reading to know everything about dowry and dowry harassment cases.

Dowry and Dowry Harassment

Dowry (or dahej) is the demand for property, goods, cash from the bride’s family as a deal for the successful commencement of the marriage. Dowry basically was gifts given by the bride’s family to the groom at the time of marriage or before marriage. After passing from generation to generation, it now has converted into evil practice in society. Earlier where dowry was moreover like a gift but today it is more of a compulsion to the bride’s family.

Dowry Harassment means torturing a bride for dowry either physically or emotionally. This harassment generally happens after the marriage where the bride is asked for more dowry.

However, asking dowry and giving it has been a crime in the eyes of law. But still, these traditions have not been fully eradicated from our society. Sometimes this harassment goes to a severe level and forces the bride or their family to death.

However, there is always another side to the coin. On one hand where the laws are strict for dowry-related matters in India. Some women use it as a weapon instead of a defense against their husbands. We are going to come to that also later on the page. But for now, let’s have a look at punishment in the Indian Constitution for dowry harassment.

Punishment for Dowry Harassment

Punishment for dowry harassment under the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

  1. Section 3: The person who takes or gives dowry will be entitled to imprisonment for at least 5 years with or without a fine.
  2. Section 4: The person who even demands the dowry will be entitled to imprisonment from 6 months to 5 years with or without a fine.
  3. Section 8 of the dowry act makes this a cognizable and non-bailable offence.

Punishment for dowry harassment under the Indian Penal Code, 1980

  1. Section 304 (b): The person who will be held responsible for the death of the woman supposedly for the purpose of dowry will be entitled to imprisonment from 7 years to a lifetime.
  2. Section 498 (a): The person who will be held responsible for the harassment and cruelty to the woman will be entitled to imprisonment up to 3 years or a fine.

How to file for Dowry Harassment Case?

The process for filing for a dowry Harassment case can simply be brought down under the following steps:

  1. Filing the F.I.R. in the nearest police station.
  2. Consult with a good advocate or legal consultancy firm like Litem.
  3. Along with the case against dowry harassment, the wife can also file a suit for domestic violence to get maintenance and protection from her in-laws.
  4. The case will further go into the courtroom where the magistrate looks into the matter.

False Dowry Harassment Case

There are many laws in India to empower a victim of dowry harassment cases. But sometimes these laws are used in their opposite means. Like there are cases when the wife files a false dowry harassment case on their in-laws to torture them.

To protect yourself from any such instances, you must be aware of the different remedies available at the time of a false dowry harassment case on you or your family.

The person who is charged with a dowry harassment case is left with two options. Either he can defend the against by hiring an advocate or file a counter case against the charges by her wife. Additionally, there are some actions that a husband can perform in cases like false dowry.

  1. ⦿ The husband should collect as much evidence as possible in his claim. These can be messages, call conversations, audio or video recording, or any other form of evidence.
  2. ⦿ He must seek anticipatory bail in these cases.
  3. ⦿ He can file a counter case against her wife for false allegations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

 What is dowry harassment?

 What is the punishment for dowry harassment?

 What can be done in the case of dowry-related harassment?

 What is Section 498A?