THE DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961 (Amended 1986)

  • An Act to prohibit the giving or taking of dowry that is any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly by any party or parents of either side at the time of marriage, or before or after the marriage ceremony. It extend to the whole of India except Jammu & Kashmir. The dowry system has been a great social and health problem. So many cases of burns, homicides, and suicides are reporting to the medical casualty in the hospitals. These cases are mainly due to the fact the dowry was not given according to the expectation of bridegroom party. As the value of male child has been fixed much higher as compare to girl and women status is also low, the bride's parent has to offer costly gifts, and spend lot of money on arranging household goods to present even before the marriage which is illegal. If any person violates the Act may be punished with the imprisonment for a term not less than 5 years and with fine which shall not less than Rs. 15000/- or the amount of the value of such dowry, whichever is more. Under the Amended Act of various states many types of prohibitions like advertisement, scope of dowry, gift, presents, and joint accounts are also included.

  • The Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of list of presents to the bride and bridegroom) Rules 1885 prescribes that list of gifts, and other items should be made and kept. Where the death of a women is caused by any burns or bodily injury within 7 years of her marriage and shown that soon before death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relatives is known as dowry death and punishment is for not less than 7 years but which may extend to life term imprisonment.


The Dowry Prohibition Act. 1961. Gazatte of India. Act No. 28 of 1961 and amended on 1986.