(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) 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.
In this act, `dowry’ means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly:
Explanation II.-The expression `valuable security’ has the same meaning as in Sec. 30 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
(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.
(1)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-
(2) If any person fails to transfer any property as required by sub-section (1) within the time limit specified therefor or as required by sub-section(3), he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months, but which may extend two years or with fine which shall not be less than five thousand rupees, but which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.
(3)Where the woman entitled to any property under sub-section (1) dies before receiving it, the heirs of the woman shall be entitled to claim it from the person holding it for the time being:
if she has no children, be transferred to her parents, or
if she has children, be transferred to such children and pending such transfer, be held in trust for such children.
(3-A) Where a person convicted under sub-section (2) for failure to transfer any property as required by sub-section (1)or sub-section (3) has not, before his conviction under that sub-section, transferred such property to the women entitled thereto or, as the case may be, her heirs, parents or children, the Court shall, in addition to awarding punishment under that sub-section, direct, by order in writing, that such person shall transfer the property to such woman, or as the case may be, her heirs, parents or children within such period as may be specified in the order, and if such person fails to comply with the direction within the period so specified, an amount equal to the value of the property may be recovered from him as if it were a fine imposed by such Court and paid to such woman, as the case may be, her heirs, parents or children.
(4)Nothing contained in this section shall affect provisions of Sec. 3 or Sec. 4.
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2of 1974),- no Court inferior to that of a Metropolitan magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence under this Act; no Court shall take cognizance of an offence under this Act except upon –
Explanation.- For the purposes of this sub-section, "recognised welfare institution or organization" means a social welfare institution or organization recognized in this behalf by the Central or State Government.
(2) Nothing in Chapter XXXVI of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2of 1974), shall apply to any offence punishable under this Act.)
Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, a statement made by the person aggrieved by the offence shall not subject such person to a prosecution under this Act.
(1) The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) shall apply to offences under this Act as of they were cognizable offences-
(2) Every offence under this Act shall be non-bailable and non-compoundable.
8-A. Burden of proof in certain cases: Where any person is prosecuted for taking or abetting the taking of any dowry under Sec. 3, or the demanding of dowry under Sec.4, the burden of proving that he had not committed an offence under those sections shall be on him.
8-B. Dowry Prohibition Officers:
(1) The State Government may appoint as many Dowry Prohibition Officers as it thinks fit and specify the areas in respect of which they shall exercise their jurisdiction and powers under this Act.
(2) Every Dowry Prohibition Officer shall exercise and perform the following powers and functions, namely, -
(3) The State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, confer such powers of a police officer as may be specified in the notification, the Dowry Prohibition Officer who shall exercise such powers subject to such limitations and conditions as may be specified by rules made under this Act.
(4) The State Government may, for the purpose of advising and assisting the Dowry Prohibition Officers in the efficient performance of their functions under this Act, appoint an advisory board consisting of not more than five social welfare workers (out of whom at least two shall be women) from the area in respect of which such Dowry Prohibition Officer exercises jurisdiction under sub-section (1).
(1) The Central Government may, by notification in the official Gazettee, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for-
(3)Every rules made under this section shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made before each House of Parliament while it is in session for a total period of thirty days which may be comprised in one session or in two or more successive sessions, and if, before the expiry of the session immediately following the session or the successive sessions aforesaid both Houses agree in making any modification in the rule or both Houses agree that the rule should not be made, the rule shall thereafter have effect only in such modified form or be; of no effect, as the case may be, so, however, that any such modification or annulment shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under that rule.
The State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, make rules for carrying out the purposes of this Act.
(2) In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely:
(3) Every rule made by the State Government under this section shall be laid as soon as may be after it is made before the State Legislature.
G.S.R. 664 (E), dated 19th August, 1985.- In exercise of the powers conferred by Sec.9 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961), the Central Government hereby makes the following rules, namely:
(1) These rules may be called the Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985.
(2) They shall come into force on the 2nd day of October, 1985, being the date appointed for the coming into force of the Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 1984 (63 of 1984).
(1) The list of presents which are given at the time of the marriage to the bride shall be maintained by the bride.
(2) The list of present which are given at the time of the marriage to the bridegroom shall be maintained by the bridegroom.
Every list of presents referred to in sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (2),-
Explanation. 1.- Where the bride is unable to sign, she may affix her thumb impression in lieu of her signature after having the list read out to her and obtaining the signature on the list, of the person who has so read out the particulars contained in the list.
Explanation 2.- Where the bridegroom is unable to sign he may affix his thumb-impression in lieu of his signature after having the list read out to him and obtaining the signature on the list of the person who has so read out the particulars contained in the list.
(4) The bride or the bridegroom may, if she or he so desires, obtain on either or both of the lists referred to in sub-rule (1) or sub-rule (2) the signature or signatures of any relations of the bride or the bridegroom or of any other person or persons present at the time of the marriage.