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Recovery of dowry articles in law

Recovery of dowry articles in law


The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) provides for recovery of dowry articles in law. Under Section 498A of IPC, the husband and his relatives are liable to punishment which may extend. Up to three years or fine or both if they demand dowry and inflict cruelty upon the wife, or her relatives. Another cause grave injury or death to any person at their instance, whether they directly committed such cruelty or not. The following sections of Cr PC provide the procedure to recover the dowry articles:- The Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, section 125 deals with order by magistrate directing restoration of abducted women and children.


The legal definition of dowry

Dowry is a set of gifts or property given by the bride’s family to the groom. It can be in cash, jewelry, furniture and other household items, but it must be given voluntarily.

Dowry is considered an integral part of Indian culture. The intent behind the giving and taking of dowry is that the bride’s new family will care. She would have been cared for by her own family. Dowries are also seen as a measure of social status and provide financial security for life after marriage. Dowries were traditionally intended to help establish a newly married couple’s household and increase their social standing within their community.


The articles which can be recovered under this law

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) defines the term dowry as follows: ‘dowry’ includes:-

(a) money paid or promised to be paid;

(b) jewelry, clothes and other items given on the occasion of a marriage; and

(c) property acquired by a spouse from her or his parents-in-law. The only exception to this definition is where such payment is made from one person to another, out of love or respect for such person. In that case, it shall not constitute any part of the dowry. Any clause, covenant or agreement which purports to prevent or restrict a woman from recovering any article mentioned in clauses (a),(b) and (c), at anytime after her marriage shall be null and void.


The procedure for filing a case for recovery of dowry articles

1) The wife shall apply, in writing, to the District Court within whose jurisdiction she lives. Where the husband resides, for permission to take proceedings against the husband for recovery of all or any part of her dower.

2) The Court may refuse permission if it is satisfied that such refusal is just and reasonable.

3) If permission is granted, the wife shall make an application exporter to recover possession by force if necessary and to obtain damages. 2) If permission is refused, the wife may appeal against the decision to a Judge of Assize. An appeal must be filed within 14 days of the date on which notice was given to her under subsection (2). The Judge of Assize shall dismiss the appeal if he is satisfied that it does not appear to him. That there is a good ground for reversing or varying the decision appealed from. Otherwise he shall direct that further evidence be taken either orally before him or on affidavit. Before some other person appointed by him for this purpose.


The time limit for filing a case for recovery of dowry articles

Section 498A deals with the offences related to the recovery of dowry articles. A person guilty under this section is liable to imprisonment for a term. Which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both?

(1) Where any woman has been given by her husband part of her marriage presents. And has not made a full recovery thereof, she shall be entitled after the death of her husband to recover from his legal representative that portion which she had not previously recovered:


The court in which the case has to be filed

Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) prescribes a punishment for the husband or relative that subjects a woman to cruelty. Cruelty is defined as any act by one spouse who causes mental or physical pain, illness, or injury to the other spouse. In order for an act to be considered as cruelty, it must be shown that the person committing. It had no reasonable grounds for believing that such an act would cause harm. And that he was at least aware that his conduct was likely to cause harm. The court has held in many cases where there has been recovery of dowry articles and property. They were associated with; no conviction could be made on the basis alone of recovery.


The burden of proof in such cases

The right to recover any property given by her relatives as a bride price is exclusively with her. But she cannot demand that it be returned if she has not refused to live with her husband. In cases where the marriage is dissolved and the woman returns the bridal gift to her ex-husband. She may claim an equivalent amount from him when they part company. If he dies before they can divide their properties, then she will receive half of what he owned at his death.


The rights of the husband and wife in case of divorce

The husband and wife have certain rights and duties under the Muslim Law. One such right is that the wife is entitled to claim and Recovery dowry articles her dowry articles from her husband if she is divorced by him. The husband has no right to refuse to give back her dowry unless he can prove that. She has done something disgraceful, for which she cannot be given back the dowry. However, if he gives back the property along with a part of it or some other property or money as compensation. Its loss then there will be no obligation on him to give back all the property or replace it with equivalent amount.

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