In India, dowry system has been prevalent for many years which have been a subject to debate through many years. Dowry refers to the goods, cash or real or movable property that is demanded by the relatives of groom or supplied by the relatives of bride. The dowry system is a kind of burden on the family of bride which is imposed by society. If we see this issue closely, this system is the root cause of all the crimes that are committed in a marriage by the groom’s side. This is why dowry has been banned or prohibited as per Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 and by Sections 304 B and 498 A of the Indian Penal Code.
Section 498 was come in the year 1983 after seeing the increasing heinous crimes reported against dowry system. This act was introduced to protect women in marriage from being assaulted or harassed by the husband or his relatives physically, mentally or financially. The offence under section 498a is cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable.
This law basically deals with cruelty done by a husband or his relatives for not bringing dowry as expected by in-laws. This is basically against four types of cruelty as mentioned below:
- Any act that is responsible to drive a woman to suicide
- Any type of physical or mental harassment with the purpose of compelling the woman or her relatives to give some property
- Harassment due to not providing the asked money by bride’s relatives
This is really pathetic that people educated people too are committing such crimes which is bringing shame to Indian society. Time has come to stop all these and reform the lives of women.