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What are the anti dowry laws in India and what effect do they have on dowry in India? As in: are the laws successful in acomplishing the goals of reducing dowry?

Also do all kinds of economic coercion and extortion of wives fall under the definition of dowry?

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The sociology of dowry in India is not within the scope of Law SE, but we can say what the law is. The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 penalizes anyone who "gives or takes or abets the giving or taking of dowry". Ancillary laws were enacted to prohibit act thought to relate to dowry, such as beating up your wife (IPC 498a) which are not just about dowry but which have a connection to dowry.

'Dowry' is

any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly:

by one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage; or

by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person;at or before or any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage of said parties but does not include dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies.

An important exception is that

(2)Nothing in sub-section (1) shall apply to or, in relation to,- presents which are given at the time of a marriage to the bride (without any demand having been made in that behalf): Provided that such presents are entered in list maintained in accordance with rule made under this Act;

presents which are given at the time of 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 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.

That is, it is not illegal to give gifts.

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  • are people who are charged under 498a also liable to be guilty under prohibition of dowry act ? if the dowry is acquired ? most of the news regarding dowry here seems to be related to section 498a.
    – user49663
    Mar 5, 2023 at 19:43
  • > by the parents of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person;at or before or any time after the marriage in connection with the marriage of said parties but does not include dower or mahr in the case of persons to whom the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) applies. does this also include parents of the wife or groom giving money to their own child ?
    – user49663
    Mar 6, 2023 at 10:06

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