Is monetary gifts given to the husband and his family amounts to dowry?

Dowry is like a black plague which often kills the married woman before seven years of her marriage. If she is not killed then she is harassed, ill-treated by her husband and his family.

Due to the gravity of the problem, the provisions related to dowry are mentioned under Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 apart from this, Indian Penal Code has provisions related to dowry & some sections of Indian Evidence Act strengthen the punishment of dowry related offences.

So, before we delve into this matter, let’s understand the meaning of dowry

 

What is dowry? 

 

Dowry is explained under Section 2(1) of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. Dowry means giving or agreeing to give or given any property or valuable security directly or indirectly by one party to another party to the marriage during the marriage ceremonies or before the marriage or after the marriage in connection to the marriage. But Mahar or dower is not included in dowry.

So, if we conclude the essential requisite of the dower –

  • giving or agreeing to give or given
  • any property or valuable security
  • directly or indirectly
  • by one party to another party to the marriage
  • during the marriage ceremonies or before the marriage or after the marriage
  • in connection to the marriage

 

Monetary gifts given to the husband and his family 

 

State of Karnataka v. Dattaraj 

 

In the State of Karnataka v. Dattaraj, AIR 2015 SC, the Court held that monetary gifts given to husband and his family are customary gifts which are often exchanged between family of boys parents and girls parents during the marriage ceremonies. It is not one way process. So, in another word both the parties celebrate all the ceremonies all together by offering gifts to each other. Therefore, monetary gifts given to the husband and his family members are not dowry Unless no forceful action was taken.


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