Marriage is the union in life between a man and woman. We are living in the social institution where the husband has responsibility for taking care of his wife after marriage and the must not neglect his duties.
However in our greater social system, “Dowry” is a stigma that still exists. Dowry is the amount of money or property that is brought by the bribe for her husband on behalf of their marriage.
Bride service or price is the payment by groom to bride’s parents so that appropriate wealth is transferred from bride’s family to bridegroom and his family.
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Dowry is considered as the ancient custom in many parts of Asia, Africa and Balkans. Apart from the tradition, women after marriage are harassed, ill treated, divorced or killed for simple reasons that they didn’t brought enough dowry from their parents.
Matrimonial Cruelty is cognizable, non compoundable and non bailable offence as it is defined in the Chapter XXA of I.P.C. under Sec. 498A. Government of India made up its mind for stopping the harassment or cruelty to women after marriage.
Government of India is also in process for amending the dowry law for making it compoundable. Offence of also non bailable as well as non compoundable with leaving no chance for the husband and wife to reach compromise the case that is filed.
To safeguard women against the dowry cruelty the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (I.P.C) was amended and inserted S.498A in 1983 that deals with all kinds of ‘Matrimonial Cruelty’ to the woman.
Whoever being husband or his relatives of that woman are subjected to the dowry cruelty must be punished with the imprisonment that will be extended to 3 years and the individual must be liable to fine.
The dowry law is amended according to the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1983 (Act 46 of 1983).
The main objective of the section 498-A of I.P.C is for protecting the woman being harassed by her husband or his relatives.
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Why Dowry system must be demolished?
In the modern times, the dowry system has been in the magnified proportion and emerging social evil through dowry system. Practice of dowry system has reduced the marriage sacred institution into the business level transaction.
Dowry system is also virtually degrading the marriage into the sale able commodity and becoming the menace in Indian society. Dowry causes many economic burdens for the bride family.
As many bride family sell a piece of their property or borrow money for giving it as the dowry in their daughter’s marriage. For giving more money for dowry, the attitude of parents becomes corrupted for saving money for their daughter’s marriage.
Dowry also lowers the standard of living as it will drain the money from the bride’s side so it is necessary to stop the dowry system.
When the bride’s parent could not give enough money for the marriage, then sometimes her husband or their relatives could physiologically or physically harm the bride for dowry reasons.
For the purpose section 304-B of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860) ‘dowry death’ is also amended for stopping the cruelty.