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Dowry Laws Every Indian Must Know

November 22, 2010

photo credit: Marian Spiers ©. All Rights Reserved.

The 50 Million Missing Campaign  often gets emails like this one [click here ]  from women being blackmailed for dowry before their wedding.

Do not pay any dowry. Do not negotiate.  Do not marry these men. Too many women have been tortured and killed.  See these posts —  Roopa’s, Anshu‘s, and Mitu’s.


Q. Is Dowry legal in India?

Dowry is illegal in India under the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961.

Q. Who is the offender under the Dowry Prohibition Law?

Under the Dowry Prohibition Law it is an offense to both take dowry OR to give dowry.  So the groom and his family who have taken dowry can be charged.  And if the bride’s family has complied with the dowry demand and given dowry, they can also be charged as guilty as under this law.

The punishment for violating the law is 5 years imprisonment + Rs.15000/- fine or the value of the dowry given, whichever is more.

Q. What is considered to be Dowry?

  • Any kind of demand made by the groom or his family, that involves a direct or indirect “deal” in connection with the wedding, is considered a dowry.
  • This demand can be made before, or during, or after the wedding.
  • It can be cash, valuable security, property or any other favors.
  • It includes anything that is sought either directly by the groom’s family or indirectly through a third party.
  • Examples of dowry demands can include things like: “We need our mortgage paid, so we can have the money for the wedding,’ or ‘Our younger son has got into  medical school and we need his fees paid,’ or ‘Find a job for this relative,’ or ‘We need a car so your daughter can live comfortably with us.’

Q. How can you tell that it is a Dowry Demand?

  • Anything that is given by the bride’s family to the groom or his family, that a bride’s party does not offer on its own is dowry.
  • Anything that a groom’s party asks for directly or indirectly by dropping hints and the bride’s party feels compelled to give – is dowry.
  • If the bride’s party feels that giving certain things is a pre-condition for the wedding to take place, and they give it because they worry the marriage will be called off – then it is dowry.
  • If the bride’s family says it cannot afford something and the groom’s family starts negotiating a ‘lesser deal,’ – that is still dowry.
  • Or after the wedding, if the bride or her family feel like that they either directly or indirectly are expected to meet demands for purchases, money, favors (social, political, economic), — as compensation for marrying their daughter into that family, then these are dowry demands.

Q. What if the bride’s family wants to give the bride and groom a gift of their own desire, but do not want to violate or be accused of violating the dowry law?

  • If a bride’s parents want to give the newly married couple gifts for the wedding of their own choosing, without being pressured or asked, and they do not want this to be seen as ‘dowry,’or a violation of the Dowry Prohibition Act, then they should have a list drawn up by their lawyer, with details (description, cost etc.) of the gifts they are giving to the couple, and declare that these are gifts they are giving to the couple of their own choosing.
  • The groom’s family too should have a copy of this list (so they are not accused of taking dowry either).
  • Anything that is given to the bride and groom jointly as a wedding gift, belongs to both of them, and cannot necessarily be legally accounted for later on in case a situation warrants a separation.

Q. What if the bride’s family is not pressured for any dowry, but they want to give their daughter some gifts and securities, which they want to make sure she gets back, if under any circumstance she has to leave the marriage?  Or they want to make sure that in the case of her unforeseen death is returned to the family?

  • Anything that a bride’s parents gift, just to their daughter and not to the groom, is the sole property of the bride and under the law it is called Stree Dhan (The Wife’s Property).
  • This can be given before, during, or after the wedding.
  • Streedhan includes property that a woman inherits or gifts given to her in cash or kind by her parents, siblings, and also husband and in-laws.
  • The woman is the absolute owner of her Stree Dhan and the husband and his family have no right over it.
  • If the woman gives her stree-dhan to her husband and or in-laws for safe-keeping, then they are only trustees and must return it when she asks for it.
  • If a woman dies under suspicious circumstances within 7 years of her marriage, then the property has to be transferred to her children or to her parents if she has no children.

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Marian Spiers is member of the 50 Million Missing Photographer’s group, supported by more than 2300 photographers from around the world.  To know about Marian and to see her other works click here.

60 Comments leave one →
  1. November 22, 2010 11:18 am

    The scenario of India is the same in Bangladesh. These days the eve teasing has increased terribly. The eve teasers are teasing girl children, when the guardians or school teachers are opposing the teasers are murdering them. I think besides these campaign we should aware the parents, we should educate the parents on considering the girls and boys are in the same status. When they become resource persons both of them are the heritage of the family. We should go the families and teach them how to develop these sense in order to respect each other as a human being.

    • November 23, 2010 6:42 am

      @ Shamsun — Dowry in India started off as a middle and upper class phenomenon. It is only over the last 20 years or so it has spread to the poorer communities. But look at all our dowry cases — Mitu, the story of Anshu — these are all upper class, educated, wealthy families. It is a compulsion families have — it is irrational and has nothing to do with education or wealth or understanding of worth. They do it because everyone does it, and they do it because society thinks at some level it is o.k. So that is why we are saying there is no excuse. It is not just that dowry is bad. But everyone who practices it is guilty and responsible. Each citizen, man or woman in the country is responsible.

  2. November 22, 2010 3:15 pm

    Excellent advice; very useful info. Thanks for doing this !

  3. Girendra Singh permalink
    November 24, 2010 1:09 pm

    Thanks for providing the informations. I am just adding that Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, on dated 23.11.2010 have said to every court of India to add Murder charges with every 304B cases throughout INDIA. This news has come on every newspapers of India, specially TIMES OF INDIA. I read it in (hindi edition) of times of India on front page, i.e. NAVBHARAT TIMES.

    The hon’ble court is very much cautious and noticed the rising dowry death in recent year. The hon’ble court has said before 2 weeks before that now they (culprits) in need to give big DOSE, it is enough now with the females in India.

    You pl. see yourself about news of dt. 23.11.2010 in Navbharat Times (front page).

    All this is due to the rising deaths due to dowry, by different manners, by doing murder and later to show it as suicide, it has proved in many recent cases. Hon’ble court is very strictly said to every court of India.

    I have been a victim so I can feel a sie of some more relief to the female Genocides of India, I also want to say THANKS to hon’ble judges of supreme court of India for noticing their serious concerns of Female Genocides.

    I appreciate it and want that no Anshu Singh should face such an happening. We are now, nowhere, nobody can give us our beloved Anshu back but will fight upto the last breath for punishment to the culprits. Now, this is the only aim of mine and my family. We will try our best to save more Anshu’s of India, only this will be our motto in life now.

    Thanks to everyone who support this…. specially to Ms. Rita Je, founder of 50 MILLION’S campaign fight for genocides and gender bytes.

    Thanks a lot.

    Girendra Singh
    (an unfortunate father)
    Father of deceased Anshu Singh

    • November 25, 2010 5:45 am

      Mr. Singh — You are right. The Supreme Court of India — perhaps more than any other court in India now realizes how rapidly the crime of dowry is spreading in India — and in the words of the court, that there needs to be very strong judiciary and legal action. The Indian Supreme court says: “”The hallmark of a healthy society is the respect it shows to women. Indian society has become a sick society. This is evident from the large number of cases coming up in this court and also in almost all courts in the country in which young women are being killed by their husbands or by their in-laws by pouring kerosene on them and setting them on fire or by hanging/strangulating them,” an anguished bench of Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said in a recent judgment. “What is the level of civilization of a society in which a large number of women are treated in this horrendous and barbaric manner? What has our society become,” asked the Bench before upholding life term for the husband and mother-in-law of a woman killed for dowry. This was there ruling “We further direct all trial courts in India to ordinarily add Section 302 (murder) to the charge of section 304B so that death sentence can be imposed in such heinous and barbaric crimes against women,” a Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said in an order.

    • November 25, 2010 5:49 am

      Mr. Singh — We also thank you for your support for this campaign. We are with you in your fight for justice for your daughter Anshu. It is Justice not just for Anshu and for your family — it is justice for all of us fighting for change.

    • November 3, 2011 4:17 pm

      Dear Mr. Singh, I am sorry for your loss. I really hope Anshu gets justice. I don’t know what the situation was in your case.
      I have a general feeling and thought for poor girls who suffer due to these issues. If dowry is asked from parents in any form, be it before or after marriage, why is the relationship with the groom/would-be-groom broken then itself? If they value only money and not the lady, then she would never get what she truly deserves. Murder is the farthest one could go, and is not as common as torture maybe. But living in the with such people will only satisfy society and would kill the poor lady day by day in one form or another.. What is more important is the the happiness of the girl in her new life and home.. society can never be satisfied I feel.. Just my person thought…

      R.I.P. dear Anshu.

    • ankit bajpai permalink
      September 3, 2012 1:28 pm

      realy its so impressive….

  4. November 3, 2011 4:23 pm

    I have a question regarding Stree-dhan… what proof a woman has to tell that something is hers? the things are just gifts, and who would decide if was hers or her husbands or in-laws..?

    • November 4, 2011 11:42 am

      Nicki, If you read the post on which this comment is posted, we have suggested that all gifts that parents give their daughter for the wedding must be legally registered as ‘Stri-Dhan,’ so that there can be proper accounting for it in case of divorce. Also it is a protection for the woman — for the reason husbands and in-laws kill is because they know that they can get away with murder and keep the wealth the bride’s parents gave her.

  5. November 5, 2011 9:38 am

    Very educative and well thought-out commentary ! Let me introduce each and all of issue related articles to Japanese Twittees,who are ignorant of such brutal and barbaric act . I should admit men and women of conscience in India do strive to pave the way for woman Emancipation. A paradigm is called for ” De-throne Dowry”.

    • November 11, 2011 12:45 pm

      Thank you for your comment Noboru, and for your support! De-throne Dowry would be step 2. We first have to insist that the laws pertaining to dowry murders, female feticides, infanticides and ‘honor’ killings be implemented and the government be held fully accountable! so please sign our petition

  6. emery permalink
    December 16, 2011 12:38 am

    the dowry demand should be viewed the same way as the deportation orders the Nazis gave. so refusing it is the only way to survive!

  7. Shyam permalink
    January 17, 2012 4:20 pm

    Is any provision for punishment to dowry giver.

    Why man always be in trouble in any type of Dowry Case. He is a man so that.

    “Kya kanoon banane walo ne ise balance nahi kya. Mene hamesa Dowry lene walo ki hi saza suni he magar dowry dene walo ka aajtak kanoon me koi strong point he ya nahi. Ya phir aurat itni bechari ho gayi he ki admi ko hi dowry lene ka kasoorwar banao. Aaj ki ladki ya aurat itni kamjor nahi rehe gayee he ki dowry ke bina shaadi na kar sake. to phir hamesa aadmi ke upper hi blame kyon lagaya jata he. Kyon kanoon joothe case file karne walo ke khilaf sakth kadam utathi.”

    Meri awaz un joothi aurto ke khilaf he jo be wajahe apne pati par joothe dahej ke mukadme dalti he or apni or apne pati ki zingdi kharab karti he.”

  8. Amu permalink
    January 24, 2012 4:02 pm


    I would like to share something, i am from UP and where girls are burden for there parents as per them and they can do anything and any kind of lies to get marry her daughter. And after marriage the truth will come and in that cases the bride refuse to accept the girls. Now the girls family will start the social drama as well as threatening and blaming for dowry. The boy is innocent but he cant do any thing. either he can adjust his whole life with girl or do something crazy like left the home, suciede or bla bla.. so plz let me your comment for the same.

    • emery permalink
      January 30, 2012 10:54 pm

      you might be right in some cases Amu but in many cases the husband is as guilty as anyone else. I guess the husband’s family is the main benefactor from any dowry payments so they might be the ones planing the crimes. even still oftentimes its the husband who actually pulls the trigger because he has the best access to the intended victim. I think of it sort of like how the FBI deals with mafia hits in New York City. they prosecute both the boss who gave the order to do the hit, the hit man who carried it out, and anyone else who was involved in some other way such as a get away driver or the man who provided the gun. sorry if I got a little off topic but “dowry death” cases are actually a lot like mafia hits. someone plans the crime and gives the order to carry it out, than someone else carries it out and still others are involved in other ways. If you ask me anyone involved in “dowry deaths” should be lined up and shot! that might be the only way to stop this.

    • Human permalink
      May 1, 2012 2:21 pm

      U are very much biased & for ur kind information even our supreme court has stated that 498A has become LEGAL TERRORISM by girl & her family.. grow up indians now girls are independent & we dont need such a strong law… it requires amendment so that any false case should take strong action against the girl family also… ofcourse death bcoz of dowry is heinous crime n must be punished but on the other hand if girl is filing false case then even she must be punished for the same.

    • May 3, 2012 10:59 am

      @Human– As we can all see from the numerous scams etc. India is unfortunately a country full of corrupt, immoral people. Every kind of law in this country is misused and abused by people. But when something wrong happens, and people want justice, they don’t attack the law. They demand accountability from the police and courts on how the law is being misused. For every woman who misuses the law in this country there are thousands of women who are abused and killed for dowry. That is proof in itself that the law is not being implemented. The reason that groups like the anti-498a have no credibility is exactly because they are attacking the law. It seems to us, that a group of disgruntled men want to make sure there is no check in place legally or otherwise for them to go on freely abusing the system of dowry and inflicting violence on women. So if you want people to believe you — don’t attack the law, instead attack the system, the courts, the police like all victims of injustice do.

  9. March 3, 2012 4:30 pm

    If Dowry demand is crime then Dowry offer is crime also.
    How can a groom proof before marriage if bride’ side offer Dowry (name of gift) for maintain their own social status.

    Give me at least one example where Dowry offer-er accused & convicted.

    None one.

    Because if groom go to police station for lodging FIR on above situation, police say- No, it is not Dowry offer, it is ‘Stree Dhan’ (very sweet name of gift) offer.

    plz reply me with particular example( with case details).

    • Dr. DPK permalink
      May 21, 2012 10:12 am

      Dear Sengupta Ji

      I am agree with your comment and also want to add something. Father give dowry for his doughtier marriage and also expect that to recover that amount when he do his son marriage. The law is not clear and many times people trap the honest person because social disputes.

      It is very critical to make difference between Gift and Dowry.

    • Anil permalink
      July 24, 2013 6:34 pm

      Me to against of dowry system but i think Gift is converted into Dowry. If bride is not satisfied with their husband or she having extra marital affairs.Now a days women’s using Dowry law as a weapon to harsh grooms and their family. I am giving one example. If Husband has no rights on bride’s gift given by her parent’s.Then why they fighting for grooms parental property. Which has only husband rights. there is no protection for men so bride’s family taking advantage of weak rule and misusing it.Why they want equal partition in groom’s parent property? If she can not take their part from her parents ? Because she is also part of her family as his brother. So if Bride is showing their rights on inlaw’s property then groom has also rights on brides parental property.

      What is the best part for grooms kindly tell me.


    • July 27, 2013 12:15 pm

      One has to go by the law Anil. And in India its only recently the court has said the man’s parental property is included in the alimony. If you don’t want that then have your wife sign a pre-nuptial before the wedding saying should you divorce that your parents property is not part of the deal. If she is not agreeable to that she should not marry you.

  10. August 17, 2012 5:25 pm

    Dowry law must be implemented strictly to ensure women safe & secure

  11. August 31, 2012 5:43 pm

    Reblogged this on whitevalkyrie and commented:

  12. sheenam permalink
    October 11, 2012 11:17 am

    Can anyone please let me know, after how many years of marriage dowry act is not applicable?

    • October 14, 2012 10:30 am

      hi Sheenan — We think 7 years but we think it might also depend on the circumstances. But could you please explain a bit what the situation is and we’ll find someone to give advise on the case?

  13. pooja permalink
    January 13, 2013 6:42 pm

    I m pooja.
    My husband always forced me to bring money or other things from my parents and they had no option except agreeing to his demand. after our marriage first thing he asked to bring Rs 7000 cash to pay electricity bill as electricity was disconnected due to non payment of bill and he promissed me and my papa that he will return it. after 4 months of marriage he forced me to sale my gold given by him so that he could return his office loan. i did it. After that he demanded lots of things like bike, AC, computer, LCD tv etc.. and he always said “dont tell your parents that i m demanding this from you. this is your headache how you will convince them. If you will take my name i will go to my parents and you know they already want me to give you divorce”. He was emotionally blackmailing me. some times he says “prove me that you love me by giving me all things. May be then we will live happy”. I did all the thingsto make my married life happy but nothing changed. Even my delivery expenses has been paid by my papa.
    Last year again he forced me to bring money 1-2 lack so that he could start a business salary se kab tak guzara chalega?? but i refused. He forced me twice and thrice but i refused. I hide it from my parents because i dont want them to be sad due to me any more.
    But i had informed his parents and his sisters and thier husbands that he is forcing me to bring money for business. but they took it very easily. i said i m not stopping him to do business but please do it with your own money or income. i put an option give me one year i will save as much as money from your salary and will give it to you. he refused. then again he started new demand for doing MBA. daily saying to me ” i want to do MBA. If i will complete MBA then my salary will get 20% increased. our company has this rule… so on.” i refused.
    then again i said “if you want to do it then do it with your own. i m tired of giving you my parents savings. now they have nothing with them. My papa is taking retirement so stop this. please take care of me and our son by your own. from now onwards i will not ask my parents for money”.
    In Jan 2012, my grand parents wanted to distribute their property among my papa n my chacha. According to that my papa will get one floor and another floor would be given to my chachaji. Now again he had a mind to be shifted there, as we were living in the rented house and every year my parents give us Rs 25000 approx. to shift the house. My parents agreed to him only on one condition that my grand parents will live on same floor with us. We agreed but after shifting there he again started fighting and shouting on me and created fights with me and my grand parents so that my parents will take them to another house where my parents are living. but i said i will not allow this is my grand parents home they have full right on this house i will not let them go. that day we left that house but i was not aware of his plans. he wanted that floor to be on my name.
    after leaving my grand parents, he took all my gold and wanted to sell it to shift himachal
    to his parents house. as we have 0 account balance i agreed to sell only one gold bangle. he immediately informed his mother “pooja ke paas paise hein. ab yeh batao ki uppar wala floor banane ke liye paise kitne lagenge.” i heard it unknowingly. i was worried about me and gattu(my son) . he convinced me that he loves me he will be there with me. but still i was worried. in the last, my brother stopped me from shifting to himachal. because he was also worried for the same reason. “ki agar unhone gold bech kar paise saare le liye phir pooja aur gattu ko kahin woh log kuch kar na dein”.
    my parents and my brother gave warning to him if something happen to my daughter n gattu we will not spare you all.
    From then we were staying in my parents house. Mean while he got promotion and his attitude towards me changed a lot. Earlier he was first emotionally blackmailed me if that doesnt work then he shouted at me. But after his promotion(ony one month before) i was no were. He stopped talking to me. he stopped picking up my phone after office. He stopped giving time to our son. I thought there is something wrong with his new attitude.
    Last month on 12 Dec 2012, i caught him red handed with another girl saying “i love u i want to marry you” and that girl is with him for his position. When I asked her “when he proposed you what have you said?”. She said “ I told him first try to sort out with your wife and if thing will still wrong then I m ready for you”. She dont care if my husband give me divorce or get separated from me and my son.
    Everyone is saying and today me too, is accepting this that he married me just because of money. When me and my parents were agreed to his decisions he was there with me but now when he got promotion and has good post in MNC company he left me and my son. He demanding divorce from me and trying to convince me to give him mutual divorce and first step should be mine so that he get free from alimony and other expenses.
    In-front of all my family and his own family he is saying i love pooja but i cant live with her. that girl came into my life because she was not sharing nights with me, she is not allowing me touch her”
    When i said “i m ready to give my medical test that i did every thing to make u happy how can you say this from that day he changed his statements. now he is saying ” pooja mujhe khana bana kar nahi deti thi, pooja bahut aggressive nature ki hai, mujhe mere parents se cut off karwa diya hai, mujhe unse baat nahi karne deti and so on…” but truth is i really dont like his mother and sister because once they tried to kill me and my son and i wanted to be away from them. But i never said him to leave them.
    Today one month is over, he has not given money to me for this living. Me and my son is now living with my parents. All our expenses is bared by my parents. He is running from his responsibilities. My son admission is to be done for LKG class and he is not willing to give money for that. I asked him “when are you planning to send him school?” he said ” agar 5 saal tak mere paas savings nahi huyi toh 5 saal tak bhi isko main school nahi bhejoonga”.
    MY QUESTION IS What procedure i should follow to file a case against him?? which case i should file dowry ? or cheating? or extra marital affair? or both? because i have his recordings where he is saying he loves that girl and he want divorce from me, his facebook love messages given to her and also i have all dowry proof’s as well.
    We tried our best to do patch up with him his family is supporting him and always supported him in his all wrongs. they are blaming me for his extra marital affair saying this “ki aurat mein kami hoti hai tabhi toh aadmi bahar jata hai”.
    please anyone suggest me the right way to follow…

    • January 15, 2013 12:38 pm

      Dear Pooja, For legal counsel on your specific case, we do advise you talk to a lawyer that your family knows and trusts, and ask him what the best approach would be. If you press for extra-marital affair, the courts might try to reconcile you, and leave it at that. That does not mean your husband will stop his affairs, or stop abusing and blackmailing you. For that, you need to be absolutely sure that you will not be talked into going back to your husband. But he has also been harassing you for money. Do you have proof of that, receipts, dates, amount etc. And also the incidents of physical and emotional abuse. That’s a stronger case, and for that the 498A most probably would apply. We would suggest, you take this evidence of abuse and blackmailing, with dates, amounts, etc. and go to a lawyer that your family trusts. Giving away more money and compromising your life and safety and that of your child, is not a wise option. You destryoing yourself. So please move out soon as possible, and start a new life the best way we can.

    • pooja permalink
      January 30, 2013 8:49 pm

      thank you for your reply. on 18th jan 2013 i went to his office as he was not giving a single peny for our (me and my son) living and asked him to choose one option :- 1) to take us with him or 2) give me money today itself. but he refused to do both by saying ” i dont have money to give you”. when i said then i m not going back to my parents and from today onwards we both will live with you he took my son and ran away to road and tried to jump from upstairs on road with my son. i became scared and took back my son from him.. after his this attempt i tried to call police but he stopped me and asked me let me talk to my parents once. i made a call to his mom. she said “i dont want him to give you divorce and want you both to patch up” i was confused and quite happy because in 4 yrs of my marriage she always opposes me.but after their answer, i got hope might be everything will be all right if they also insists him to be with me and live a happy married life. so on the same day his jijaji booked two train tickets for us and said only pooja and lucky will come and we all (means his family) will sort this matter and will do our patch up. we both went there on 19 jan along with our son. first they took lucky’s side that he has problems with you , “pooja never allowed me to touch her(physical relation), pooja is not doing household works, why she informed my senior about that girl? etc., and also he totally refused of having affair with that girl and saying again and again that “from december onwards he has stopped talking with that girl. that girl is not the issue of my divorce, pooja is the only reason for this. i dont want to live my life with her”.
      but on the same night when i tried to convince him “please forget our past thing i will do everything except bringing money from my parents and stop having extra marital affair please have a look on our son and say whether you want divorce or not. dont destroy our married life. i will understand your mistake and in future will never talk you about this matter but please be with us for our son” but he slapped me and went out of the room.
      they all were saying “he is frustrated by you and he is true.. he does not have any contact with that girl and not having any affair.”
      luckily i checked my mail and got his latest phone bill details by company from 14 December 2012 to 14 January 2013. after showing this proof only they trusted me and started asking him and tried a lot to wash his mind and said him what he is doing is completely wrong.
      next day in afternoon when every said he is the only culprit pooja is right he started doing drama of depression. at that time we all were worried about him and in the last we ll decided pooja and lucky will write their problems on a plain paper and they both will agree to each other and will then live with each other.
      that day finally he agreed to live with me on condition by me and his family ” after coming to delhi we will find new rent house and will live together”.
      i was happy. but after coming back to delhi he didnt even called me. so i thought i should call him and let my son talk to him so that he will realise what is family? after 2 days continuous talk with my son he got frustrated. again he tried to convince me to do mutual divorce as he dont want to live with me. his parents and family specially his both jijaji was on my side therefore he did this drama of not leaving me. i was totally depressed.
      today also he is not ready for patch up. and he is playing games with me by saying i loved you very much but today i dont want to live with you. i care for you but cant live with you. ab maine apna nature itna change kar liya hai ki tum mere saath nahi reh paaogi. i m not saying that you were wrong but on the same side i m also not wrong. its just ki hum dono ki nahi ban paa rahi toh alag hone mein kya harz hai. main apni life tumhare saath ghaseet ghaseet ke nahi chala sakta”.. i know every time he is lying and lying.
      but i m totally confused because my parents is trying their best for our patch up. please dont misunderstand me. my decission has changed from first message which i gave you because my parents gave me a hope that they will rectify our mistakes of giving money to him and also will rectify his mistakes and will wash his mind of doing wrong things by politely or by legally. they seriously dont want my separation or dont want to take a step ki jis se banti baat bigad jaye. so they are waiting for him to change his mind by his own or by talking to him very politely.
      today i have only two options first i want to try my best to resolve this matter and want him back in my and my son’s life to live a happy life like a family. if possible then i will also go to women cell or commission to convince him. i m ignoring all his lies just for my son.
      but if then also he refused to live i will definitely file a case against him for his wrong thing but specially for my son. due to his mistake my son will live a life without his father then i m not going to leave him..
      but first please if you have any idea of pushing my husband on a right path and showing him, what is reality? family is family and is always there for him. please advise me as soon as possible.
      As he is going to meet us on 2nd Feb i.e, coming Saturday. that day is going to be very important to me and my son. or he will live with us or we will start legal procedure from that day. please advise me the right way to handle him.

  14. shan permalink
    January 19, 2013 12:07 pm


    I am shan , I am married under muslim act 1.5 yrs ago but since 4th day of our marriage she start to dominate. She dont want my parents to live with me & one day she fought with me & gone back to her mothers house. so from past 10 months we are not together & I wanna divorce her. But they now threatening me with dowry case. Kindly advice what should I do ?

  15. rinzu permalink
    June 23, 2013 2:09 am

    In syrian christian families of Kerala
    streedhanam is asked for! Although its
    intention is the brides parents giving her
    share of the property to her at the time of
    marriage! Whatever the brides parents
    intend to give her in the form of gold and
    cash is handed over to the grooms father!
    This symbolic of the fact that the groom
    and his family have all the rights on the
    bride! Until 1986 daughters had no claim
    to the fathers property if they were given
    streedhanam! Which Mary Roy fought
    against in the court of law! In syrian
    christian societies of kerala streedhanam is
    just another synonym for dowry! And more
    and more brides are standing up against it
    pressing for a no streedhanam marriage
    since at the end of the day in the name of
    streedhanam the grooms family is voicing
    their greed or at the time of a calamity lay
    claim to it by emotionally blackmailing her
    and in most cases with no returns leaving
    her in a lurch! If the fathers share of the
    property has to go to the daughter cant it
    go as a will with equivalent distribution
    aimed for both the son and the daughter!
    In the name of streedhanam societies like
    syrian christians are only promoting this

  16. July 3, 2013 6:30 pm

    there any ngo or goverment act who helps girl in dowry system

    please give me yaar cont. no. ,,,and email

  17. July 6, 2013 11:46 pm

    This is one of the most important notices you have sent out. I wish that every newspaper in India would print this information on their FRONT PAGE as a public service to the women of India so that they can keep the information and show it whenever there is any marriage talk. This would give them strength and make them feel they have the law on their side. Is this possible? Can an appeal be made to all publications in India to print this — Ask them to help to “save a life!” Which is what they might well do if they print this!

    • July 7, 2013 12:59 pm

      True Jean. But most newpapers are run on funds of corporations, and corporations actually target the ‘dowry market’ through advertisements. We’ve been noticing that!

  18. September 20, 2013 11:41 am

    Thanks for sharing this important post with all Indians. India is growing in twenty first century, still we are facing this kind of panic and shameful problem. Laws really help women and girls, but we should also take some serious step to stop this atrocious act…….

  19. October 10, 2013 10:38 pm

    This is so important for each and every young person in India. Not just women but men too need to take a stand against this social evil. I am sure there are millions of courageous young men in India who can stand shoulder to shoulder with their wives, sisters and friends to fight tradition which is tearing into the very fragment of decency in our country.

  20. prashanth permalink
    October 13, 2013 11:53 pm

    Thanks for giving such an useful advise regarding this dowry activity.

  21. February 21, 2014 4:58 am

    @Shyam… Well Done…Take up the case

  22. Darshini permalink
    March 29, 2014 12:38 pm

    My name is Darshini. First of all, thank you for such a clarified explanation on dowry. I am a non-indian going to get married to my indian boyfriend after 7 years of dating. My parents decided to come to India in April 2014 to conduct our marriage on the insistance of the groom’s family and for my sake and happiness, of course. The issue now is that the groom’s mother is continuously nagging her son to ask us for gifts namely gold rings, clothes for each relative of theirs,specific amount of money as auspicious gifts and all functions to be financed by girl’s side.Earlier my parents had clarified this point to them that we are not in favour of dowry and we are coming there for a simple wedding and the groom’s parents said we are also against dowry system and we just want your daughter and nothing else unless you decide to give something of your own will. Three weeks before the wedding which is now,amost end of March 2014, they have started nagging their son who is totally against asking anything from us. And now they are calling my parents and telling them that this is tradition and they need to give gold etc. After their first try, they stopped nagging me for anything as i told them anyone who asks for dowry I’ll not think twice before reporting them by calling on 100. Be it anyone. And even if i need police to supervise everything till the weddings vows are taken, i will go for it. Now my question is are the above mentioned things asked part of dowry? My fiancé is saying take money from him and just give his parents what they are asking for without telling them that its their son who spent on everything. But this is not just about money. It is about my contribution in this struggle to fight eradicate this fléau, like we say in french, from the society. I would have gone for a court marriage but my parents and relatives have already confirmed their flight tickets to india to see my indian religious marriage. My mother is saying write down the name of gifts we want to give them on paper and send them the same so that we are all on same page that we are not giving dowry or gifts they are negotiating for.
    Could you please help me out with any suggestion?
    P.s my fiancé is a very supportive guy and we are very much in love. I am thus bent on marrying no one but him and without entertaining dowry maniacs.
    Many thanks

    • March 29, 2014 1:39 pm

      Darshini — We need to tell you that this is how most cases begin, with the grooms parents pestering for gifts etc And after the wedding demands to ‘help’ with somebody’s loan, etc. The word ‘dowry’ is never used. But the attitude is “you owe us because we are the ladke-wale (the groom’s family). But your stand is clear. The problem here is that your fiance needs to stand up to his parents, because really this is his own issue with his parents. Think about what it says about his relationship with his parents, his pattern of response, and the fact that this will continue in other ways after the marriage, and each time he will be unwilling to stand up to his parents and will indirectly make you do things that you don’t want to do.

  23. June 15, 2014 8:06 pm



  24. jayant permalink
    July 16, 2014 2:49 pm

    what can groom doing when bride elagates him or his family by putting the wrong dowry case

  25. solar permalink
    August 18, 2014 2:51 am

    It’s really a great and useful piece of info.

  26. usha permalink
    August 29, 2014 12:07 am

    I am suffering . My inlaws made my life a hell. They are demanding twenty lakhs. Mine was a love marriage my husband ia innocent only thing is he cares for his family. My sister in law needs twenty lakhs they say I am fat and ugly so if they have to accept me they need twenty lakhs wat can I do.

    • August 31, 2014 10:25 pm

      Usha, This is blackmail and abuse. And we’d strongly urge you to not give in to them, and move out of this house as soon as possible. It is clear you love your husband, but we hope you recognize that the only reason his family is able to abuse you is because they know he won’t try to stop them. Think of the reverse. Would you allow your parents and brothers to blackmail and torture your husband? No, you wouldn’t because you love him. So tell your husband, if her really loves you he will stop them from abusing you or get out of this house with you as quickly as possible. If he doesn’t do that, we urge you to think about moving out by yourself.

  27. Sandeep permalink
    December 25, 2014 9:36 pm

    Sir. Meri wife ne or uske ghar walo ne jhuth bol kr sadi ki (education).or ab mai usses alag hona chahta hu to mujhe dowary case ki dhamki de rehe h .sir plz help me

    • January 3, 2015 1:01 pm

      This is why it is for the protection of both parties that a signed prenuptial contract stating “gifts” given/taken are a must for all marriages. If this is the case your wife is blackmailing you. We suggest when she makes the threat you keep the letter or tape your conversation and if she does blackmail you with the law then use that as evidence.

  28. Naresh Kumar permalink
    September 5, 2015 4:27 pm

    my wife is pregnant and i want the baby but my mother in law is say that my girl don’t want baby. what i do…..any buddy help me please

  29. January 7, 2016 7:48 pm

    Few questions
    1. If the boy’s family asks for gifts/exchange of gold items/ cash before or after engagement saying we didn’t like it or you could have given cash instead of gold/gifts, can this be termed as dowry.
    2. If there are continuous demands and threats to break the engagement if the conditions were not fulfilled will this be considered as crime !
    3. If the boy and his family still showing available for marriage on online matrimony profile even after engagement hiding it from others can this be termed as matrimony fraud ?



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