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Burden of Proof

Where any person is prosecuted for taking or abetting the taking of any dowry or the demanding of dowry, the burden of proving that he has not committed an offence shall be on him. (One of the principles of the Indian Criminal Law is that a person is innocent until proven guilty and the onus of proving the guilt is on the complainant / prosecutor. This onus has been shifted in certain specific offences such as Dowry, Rape, etc.).

Penalty for Taking or Giving Dowry

The giving, taking or even abetting to give or take dowry amounts to an offence punishable with imprisonment for not less than 5 years and with fine which shall not be less than RS. 15,000 (Fifteen thousand) or the amount of value of the dowry, which ever is more.

Penalty for Demanding Dowry

If any person demands directly or indirectly, from the parents or other relatives of a bride or bridegroom, as the case may be, any dowry, he shall be punishable with an imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years and with fine which may extend to RS. 10,000 (ten thousand)


There is no period of Limitation for filing a complaint under the Dowry Protection Act. For example: If a person was harassed for dowry in the year 1996 she can file a complaint in the year 2001 or even later as for prosecution under the Act bar of limitation has been removed.

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