Women Development, Dowry Act

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THE DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961
(Act No. 28 of 1961)
(20th May, 1961)
 
An Act to prohibit the giving or taking of dowry
Be it enacted by Parliament in the Twelfth Year of the Republic of India as follows: 1. Short title, extent and commencement.-(1) This Act may be called the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. It extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir. It shall come into force on such date as the Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, appoint. 2. Definition of `dowry’.-In this act, `dowry’ means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly- (a) by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage; or (b) by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person; at or before or any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage of said parties but does not include dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies.  Explanation II.-The expression `valuable security’ has the same meaning as in Sec. 30 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860). 3. Penalty for giving or taking dowry.-(1) If any person, after the commencement of this Act, gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, and with the fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more: Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than five years. * * * Explanation I omitted by Sec.2 w.e.f 2nd October, 1985 (2)Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to or, in relation to,- presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without nay demand having been made in that behalf): Provided that such presents are entered in list maintained in accordance with rule made under this Act;  

presents which are given at the time of marriage to the bridegroom (without any demand having been made in that behalf): Provided that such presents are entered in a list maintained in accordance with rules made under this Act; Provided further that where such presents are made by or on behalf of the bride or any person related to the bride, such presents are of a customary nature and the value thereof is not excessive having regard to the financial status of the person by whom, or on whose behalf, such presents are given. 4. Penalty for demanding dowry.- If any person demands directly or indirectly, from the parents or other relatives or guardian of a bride or bridegroom as the case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees: Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months. 4-A. Ban on advertisement.- If any person-

(a) offers, through any advertisement in any newspaper, periodical, journal or through any other media any share in his property or of any money or both as a share in any business or other interest as consideration for the marriage of his son or daughter or any other relative, (b) prints or publishes or circulates any advertisement referred to Cl. (a), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extend to five years , or with fine which may extend to fifteen thousand rupees: Provided that the Court may, for adequate and special reasons to be recorded in the judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months. 5. Agreement for giving or taking dowry to be void.- Any agreement for the giving or taking of dowry shall be void.  

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