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Report No. 91

3.2. Recommendation as to obligation to report.-

In the circumstances, there is scope for an improvement in the law in the context of the growing incidence of dowry deaths. It is not being suggested here that an obligation to report the death of a woman to the police should be imposed in every case. What can, and should, be inserted in the law is a provision of a limited character, which would appear to be justified in the interest of prompt reporting of dowry deaths. The provision could be to the following effect.

Where a married woman dies within five years of her marriage as a result of burns or injuries sustained by her in the house in which she was residing with her husband immediately before her death, or from other cause of a similar nature, and her husband, on becoming aware that his wife has so died, does not, within a reasonable time, inform the nearest police officer or Magistrate about her death, the husband shall, in the absence of reasonable excuse (the burden of proving which shall lie on him), be guilty of an offence punishable with imprisonment not exceeding three years, or with fine, or with both. This provision can be appropriately inserted in the Indian Penal Code.1

1. Provision to be inserted in the Indian Penal Code.

Dowry Deaths and Law Reform - Amending the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the Indian Penal Code, 1860 and the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 Back

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