The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
3. Penalty for giving or taking dowry.-
1(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 2 with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 3 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:]
Provided that the Court may, for a adequate and special reasons to be recorded in he judgment, impose a sentence of imprisonment of a term of less than 4 five years.]
5(2) Nothing is sub section (1) shall apply to, or in relation to, –
(a) Presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without any demand having been made in that behalf).
(b) Presents which are given at the time of a 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 the 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 .
(i) Section 3 does not contravene articles 14, 19, 21 and 22 of the Constitution and therefore this section is not ultra vires of the said articles; Indrawati v. Union of India, I (1991) DMC 117 (All).
(ii) The offence is founded in the relationship of the property demanded as abettor with the nature of demand. It should not bear a mere connection with marriage; Madan Lal v. Amar Nath, (1984) 2 Rec Cr. 581.
(iii) Abetment is a preparatory act and connotes active complicity on the part of the abettor at a point of time prior to the actual commission of the offence; Muthummal v.Maruthal, 1981 Cr. LJ 833 (Mad).
1. Section 3 re-numbered as sub-section (1) thereof by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).
2. Subs. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3, for certain words (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).
3. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 3, for certain words (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).
4. Subs. by Act 43 of 1986, sec. 3, for “six months” (w.e.f. 19-11-1986).
5. Ins. by Act 63 of 1984, sec. 3 (w.e.f. 2-10-1985).