Dowry Prohibition Officers
The Act also empowers the State Government to appoint Dowry prohibition officers and they have the following powers and functions.
To ensure the compliance of the Act.
To prevent the taking or demanding of dowry.
To collect evidence necessary for the prosecution of persons committing offence under the Act.
To perform additional functions as may be assigned to him by the State Govt.
The Indian Penal Code provides that where any women dies an unnatural death within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that she was harassed or subjected to cruelty by her husband or his relative for dowry, such death shall be called a Dowry death. The husband or the relative shall be deemed to have caused the death of the women. The offence is punishable with imprisonment of not less than seven years (Section 304B Indian Penal Code).
Cruelty/ Harassment Towards Women
Whoever, being a husband or relative of the husband subjects such women to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of three years.
Cruelty has been defined as:
Any conduct which is likely to drive the women to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (Mental or physical) of the women, or
Harassment with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any lawful demand for property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand. (Section 498A Indian Penal Code)