Review of the Laws S.498A IPC and Amendment
Proposed by MyNation Foundation (MNF)

No. 1: DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961


 Existing Provisions

The offence under the Act is treated as an offence against individual women.S.3 does not prescribe the sentence for the offence, but only provides the minimum sentence.

Not only taking but also giving of dowry is an offence.

Offences under the Act are treated as cognizable offences only in certain limited purposes.

Proposed amendments by Government

Marriage expenses should be shared equaly, and both party should produce Income Tax receipt.

Suggested amendments by MyNation

  1. Amend DP 7(3) which makes Dowry giver not guilty, Even it says Giving dowry is also Crime.
  2. If False 498A is filled saying they gave dowry, but they are shielded under DP7(3) - Delete this clause.
  3. For a more effective implementation it is desirable to make dowry offences as against the State.
  4. Lower court should have authority to Bail / Dismiss / Punish law offender and Law misuser.
  5. Senior citizens should not be arrested if offense is not included of physical Abuse or threat to life
  6. Parties should maintain list of presents given to a bride or bridegroom at the time of marriage.
  7. This law should not be applicable after 3 years of marriage.
  8. Bride or her Family should provide proofs for their FIR, so police can Avoid False dowry Cases at initial stage.
  9. All Items / Presents Given / Taken should be declared in front of police / Authority
  10. All Brides gifts should be produce with Receipt ofIncome tax
  11. The offence should made bailable for all purposes.
  12. If Bride family claim that they have given dowry but not declared with Authority at the time of Marriage, Police should not entertain such complaints.
  13. Police should not take any FIR on just words, If they register such complaints, Police Officers should be charged for misusing law.
  14. If FIR / Complaint found to be false Bride and her all Witness should be charged with equal or double Punishment as per their FIR.
  15. If dowry Law found to be misused then husband and all other included in FIR should be granted Damage not less than 5 lacs each.
  16. If it found misused/withdrawn then it should be valid reason for Divorce and Harassment.
  17. If complaining Party is absent for more than 3 dates without Valid reasons, then it should treated as Harassment and Dismissed.
  18. All Marriages ended with False dowry cases should not be allowed for alimony and child custody, and Authority should treat them as Legal Terrorists.
  19. No arrest made unless polygraph test done on complaining party so Authority can reduce misuse of this law, and stop tax payer money and Valuable judiciary time.
  20. No Arrest under 498A Before Marriage.
  21. No Arrest under 498A After Divorce.
  22. No out of court settlement after huge amount paid by husband
  23. FIR of 498A, Should not be reason for Divorce/Maintenance or Custody for Accuser.
  24. No Intrim/Maintenance till 498A ends.
  25. If 498A FIR is withdrawn, Accuser should pay damage / defamation charges to accused not less than 10 Lakhs Rupees(each)
  26. Burdon of proof lies on Accuser
  27. With in 1 year, If Accuser failed to prove her FIR, it will be valid reason for Man to apply for Divorce.
  28. Police / IO / Judges ignore any Evidence given by Accused, to be penalised as per Law or subjected to disciplinary Action
  29. Women Should return all the Gold and Gifts given by Husband.

Consequential Amendments Suggested in Other Statues

Indian Penal Code

1( a ).Substitution of Explanation to sub-section (1) of Section 304B defining Dowry on the following lines:
Explanation: In this section and section 498B, 'Dowry' means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly, by the bride or any person related to her to the bridegroom or any person related to him at, before any time after the marriage in connection with, or as a consequence of, the marriage.

Exception - Nothing in the Explanation shall apply to the 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 of a customary nature and the value thereof s not excessive having regard to the financial status of the person by whom or os whose behalf, such presents are given.' If Bride is bringing goods worth or more than 5000 -/- should bring receipt and written letter from those who gift her.

b) In sub-section ( 2 ) for the words ' a term which shall not be less than seven years, should be 2 years and not more than 3 years if grave physical Abuse or death involved.

2. In Chapter XXA - ( a ) Substitution of the heading by 'Of offences against women' , It should be 'Of offences against Spouse'

( b ) Insertion of 498B prescribing punishment in dowry offences and Punishment for This Law Misuser.

3. S. 498A to be amended to the punishment from 3 to 2 years.

Code of Criminal Procedure

  1. Amendment of the First Schedule making necessary entries after S. 498A i.e. inserting S 498A prescribing - 'Misusing dowry Law' as a 'Cognizable' and 'Non-bailable' offence punishable with 'imprisonment for not less than 5 year which may extend to 10 years and fine not less than 50,000 rupees or the amount of value of the dowry, whichever is more' and empowering the CJM or CMM to take cognizance of the offence.

  2. Consequential amendments of S304 IPC -

    In the First Schedule, col3, the existing entry be substituted by 'imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term not less than 2 years but which may extend 3 years if Proofs of physical Abuse available and 5 years for dowry Death'.

 

Indian Evidence Act -

a) Insertion of S.113AA.
Burden of proof lies with the person who file FIR with S498 IPC (Dowry Offence).

General Suggestions and Remarks:

  1. Misusing dowry law is taking serious dimensions and hence punishment to be enhanced.

  2. Compulsory registration of marriage and the list of gifts which may be given to the girl to be registered if valued more than Rs.5000 -/- 

  3. Marriage Act to make registration of marriage under that Act compulsory. there should be common Marriage Law

  4. All girls gifts should accompany Tax Receipt

  5. Marriage expenses should be as per Family status Agreed by Authority. 

  6. Police should not take FIR on just words, once arrest take place then there is less chance of reconciliation. authority should try to solve the problem, instead arresting on just words and tears.

  7. Share of Parents Property, should be declared at the time of her marriage and she should have equal rights.


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