REVIEW OF IMPLEMENTATION OF
“DOWRY PROHIBITION ACT, 1961”
The ‘Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961’ is being implemented in the country
for five decades now, but, the practice of dowry and dowry related crimes
continue to be a matter of concern. National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
data shows that the number of cases reported under the Dowry Prohibition Act
increased by almost 25% from 4504 in 2006 to 5623 in 2007 although it fell
marginally by a little over 1% in 2008.
State/UT-wise analysis shows that
Orissa accounted for the highest percentage of cases (23.7%) followed by Bihar
(23.2%). The number of dowry deaths increased by 7.28% from 7,618 to 8,172
between 2006 and 2008. The highest percentage of cases in this category
were reported from Uttar Pradesh (27.4%), followed again by Bihar (14.8%).
State/UT-wise details in respect of cases reported under Dowry Prohibition Act,
1961 and ‘Dowry Deaths’ during 2008 are at Annex.
The alarming rate of increase in the number of cases under the Dowry
Prohibition Act, call for more effective implementation of the Act by taking stock
of the implementation strategies adopted thus far and the gaps therein. The
increasing number of reported cases does, in a way, reflect greater awareness
of the law. At the same time, it is a reflection of the fact that the system of dowry
is deeply entrenched in the society and requires concerted action on the part of
enforcement of the Act but also measures for bringing about a social change.
Key Features of the Act
• Prohibits the giving or taking of dowry.
• Provides penalties for giving or taking of dowry or its abetment, and for
• Envisages the appointment of Dowry Prohibition Officers for, inter alia,
ensuring compliance of the provisions of the Act, preventing the giving or
taking/abetting or the demanding of...