What is not a Dowry?

Gifts Given in Marraige or other Cermony

In Indian culture we have many festivities during the marraige and after the marraige.

Now gifts are exchanged in all these festivities and sometimes they are termed as dowry or dowry articles as per the complaint filed by the wife.

Now with the help of certain judgements we will analyse the status of these gifts as dowry or not.

In the recent Judgement of Satvir Singh And Ors vs State Of Punjab And Anr

Some customary payments in connection with birth of a child or other ceremonies are prevalent in different societies. Such payments are not enveloped within the ambit of dowry.

Taunting for Dowry Demand

I have seen in many cases wherein there are allegations which are in the way of taunting. Mere taunting about dowry is insignificant and do not constitute an offence under section 498a of the IPC

 is well settled principle of criminal law that “mere taunting for bringing insufficient dowry is distinct from demand of dowry. Though taunting for bringing insufficient dowry is also an uncivilized act but does not come within the purview of section 498A IPC and hence not sufficient to constitute the offence U/s 498A IPC. Thus, mere allegations of taunting for bringing insufficient or less dowry will not be sufficient enough for framing of charge against the accused persons. In this regard, I am relying upon the judgment reported at AIR 1996 Supreme Court 67, wherein it has been held that­ Mere tauntings for bringing insufficient dowry is distinct from demand of dowry. Though tauntings for bringing insufficient dowry is also an uncivilized act but does not come within the purview of section 498A IPC and hence, not sufficient to constitute the offence under section 498A IPC.

It is held in Neera Singh Vs. State There might have been one or two instances of taunting for not bringing sufficient dowry but they are not sufficient enough to attract Section 498A. There are not specific allegations with respect to entrustment of dowry items to the accused persons. Since, the complainant stayed with her husband at Rewari, Haryana, the entrustment of dowry articles can be presumed to be to the husband. 

Financial help to Husband in day today finances

Sometimes being husband and wife there is a dire need to manage finances the husband takes help from wife or parents of the wife in day today finances. Does it constitutes dowry?

In Appasaheb Supreme Court Case

demand for money on account of some financial stringency or for meeting some urgent domestic expenses or for purchasing manure could not be termed as a ‘demand for dowry’, as the said word was normally understood. The Supreme Court in the facts of that case took the view that the evidence adduced by the prosecution did not show that any demand for “dowry” as defined in Section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act was made by the accused persons of that case as, what was allegedly asked for was some money for meeting domestic expenses and for purchasing manure. 

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