Dowry – Meaning of

A perusal of Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act shows that this definition can be broken into six distinct parts:
(a) Dowry must first consist of any property or valuable security – the word “any” is a word of width and would, therefore, include within it property and valuable security of any kind whatsoever.
(b) Such property or security can be given or even agreed to be given. The actual giving of such property or security is, therefore, not necessary.
(c) Such property or security can be given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly.
(d) Such giving or agreeing to give can again be not only by one party to a marriage to the other but also by the parents of either party or by any other person to either party to the marriage or to any other person. It will be noticed that this clause again widens the reach of the Act insofar as those guilty of committing the offence of giving or receiving dowry is concerned.
(e) Such giving or agreeing to give can be at any time. It can be at, before, or at any time after the marriage. Thus, it can be many years after a marriage is solemnized.
(f) Such giving or receiving must be in connection with the marriage of the parties. Obviously, the expression “in connection with” would in the context of the social evil sought to be tackled by the Dowry Prohibition Act mean “in relation with” or “relating to”. Rajinder Singh v. State of Punjab, (2015) 6 SCC 477.

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Filed under Criminal Law, Dowry

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