Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 as amended in the year 1986 states that if any person gives or takes dowry, he shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years and with fine which shall not be less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more. It must be noted that practices like giving and taking dowries are illegal in India and punishable under law. Such practices perpetuate gender discrimination and violence against women. It’s important to create awareness on this issue within communities residing abroad as well, including NRIs.

As a law firm dedicated to upholding the laws of India, we wish to bring your attention to Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 as amended in the year 1986. This provision unequivocally states that anyone found guilty of giving or taking dowry shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term not less than five years and with a fine not less than fifteen thousand rupees or the amount equivalent to such dowry, whichever is more.

The incorporation of this provision into Indian Law was necessary due to the prevalence of dowry-related violence against women perpetuated by societal customs and tradition. The payment or acceptance of any form of gift, property or money from one party in marriage as consideration for another party’s willingness to enter into marriage is considered illegal under this law. Such practices are violative of human rights principles and contravene India’s obligations under international treaties.

Over time, several landmark cases have been decided interpreting and applying provisions related to dowry prohibition in India. In Sushil Kumar Sharma v. Union Of India (2005), it was held that cruelty meted out towards a wife can also include harassment due to demands for dowry from her husband’s family members. Similarly, Satvir Singh vs State Of Punjab & Anr (2001) highlighted that demand for gifts by husbands’ families after solemnization amounted will constitute evidence indicating their undue enrichment without proper justification.

In Bihar Vs Gopal Prasad Misra And Ors (1978), it was established that mere possession does not create an inference regarding guilt; however, circumstances need examination within each case on its own merits before arriving at conclusions regarding wrongdoing involving offenses relating to dowries.

As Non Resident Indians continue expanding their influence globally through business activities and assuming important positions even outside their countries’ borders where they face little public scrutiny over traditional cultural practices like providing Dowries despite being illegal back home hence with both the Indian government’s and international community’s increasing attention on this issue, it is paramount that NRI communities also become aware of these laws’ provisions. In conclusion, we urge everyone to respect the law and bear in mind the harm done to women by dowry practices. We hope that through greater awareness and education about sections such as Section 4 of The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961, many lives will be saved from cruelty and suffering resulting from these obsolete cultural practices.