Dowry Deaths in India: All You Need to Know

Dowry Deaths in India: All You Need to Know

This article on Dowry Deaths in India is written by an Intern at Legal Upanishad.


This article talks about the social evil dowry in India and instances related to dowry deaths in India. Dowry practices have been rooted in Indian society for many years and have become too established and demonic social danger for reformers and legislators to deal with.

Efforts to eradicate dowry practices date back even more than a century when the entire Indian society was unorthodox and plagued with backwardness, but have become perhaps the most disturbing element of damaged society, as evidenced by the heightened violence against women resulting from dowry problems. Although, it is very a well-known fact that the original form of dowry was not just based on a sense of greed or blackmail as is common today, but as a sign of love and gratitude for the groom.

Meaning of Dowry

Dowry refers to the transfer of parental wealth when the daughter gets married. Dowry is considered to be a cash or gift payment from the family of the bride to that of the groom’s family during the time of marriage. This includes commodities like cash, considerable amount of jewelry, electronic appliances, furniture, tableware, cutlery of varied types, most commonly cars, and other items of household that would help the newlyweds to begin their journey of life with their significant other.

Dowry Deaths in India
Dowry Deaths in India

Dowry is an ancient practice, and records suggest its existence. Dowry is continued to be expected in many parts of the world and may be used as a specific and absolute condition of contracts to terminate the marriage of an individual if it is unacceptable to the family of bride, especially in parts of Asia and North Africa (Pratyush, 2019).

Types of Dowry Crimes

Practice of Dowry is believed to be one of the leading factors of the inequality and violence against women observed in many parts of India. Some of these heinous crimes include absolute physical violence, mental/psychological abuse, and even the killing of brides. Many types of dowry crimes include atrocities (including torture and sexual abuse), domestic violence based on physical, emotional and sexual assault on women which leads to committing suicide, and murder and including the issue of burning of the bride alive.


Atrocities which are in the form of torturing or harassment of women to force them to give their their property and valuable security demands are a form of crime of dowry. Atrocities can take the form of verbal abuse, which often results in beating, or harassment of women to force her or her family to succumb to the demands of the groom’s family.

In many of the cases, atrocities committed on women can even force her to commit suicide due to many psychological and health reasons, due to which it has been particularly criminalized in India’s and is absolutely punishable with stringent rules and penalties on the groom’s family and the groom himself.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence includes a wide range of abusive and threatening behaviors, including physical, emotional, financial, sexual violence, intimidation, quarantine, and coercion. There are laws which are enacted through our policy makers that help in reducing domestic violence and protect rights of women in a better way, such as the 2005 Act on the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence.

Dowry murder

Murder because of dowry or dowry death refers to the subsequent suicide or murder of a bride who committed that act because of her husband and his family shortly after the commencement of marriage because they were not satisfied with their demands of dowry (Soni). This is usually the culmination of a series of previous domestic abuses by the husband’s family. Most dowry deaths in India occur when a young woman who cannot tolerate molestation or torture commits suicide by hanging herself or drinking poison. Dowry death also includes the bride’s burns. In this case, the bride is soaked in kerosene and ignited by her husband or her family.

From time to time, the bride may ignite herself as a result of aiding suicide. Dowry deaths in India can also include sex-selective abortion by parents who do not want to pay her daughter’s dowry when she gets older and fetal euthanasia of a female. Due to the dowry system, daughters are often considered financially responsible.


If our goal is to reduce the happenings of cases of dowry, cruel sexual abuse, and uncountable atrocities and deaths, we need to hire more number of female police officers to make them available in situations like these which are involving unnatural female deaths. For proper investigation and a sense of impartiality, investigations should not be conducted below the Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary’s rank.

Abetment of suicides in the cases of dowry should be taken in a stricter way and should be dealt with more serious consequences for actions of groom’s family and the punishment must be extended for up to 7 years. A more rational and practical approach to the above problems should be created and it will certainly help in curbing this social evil.


Dowry deaths in India are the social curse that should be considered an alarming problem at the contemporary scenario in the Indian society. Organized technique should be created and put in use via way of means of women welfare organizations and various NGOs, police, public servants and judiciary via way of means of making use of deterrent and stringent punishment for dowry deaths culprit.

It may be discovered that authorities of India together with Indian judiciary should make co-operative and supportive regulations in order to shield the lifestyles, hobbies and dignity of females and offer to them in addition justice to the victim of harassment or cruelty via way of means of husband and his loved ones.

Change in training machine brought about an development within side the training fame of woman and door to door employment carrier will lesser down dowry deaths in India. Still, sure corrective measures want to undertake to eliminate or as a minimum lower this social threat of dowry demise, however most significantly it desires a public will and dedication to shun away materialistic greed of dowry needs.


Pratyush, S. (2019, August 16). Dowry Deaths In India : A Legal Study . Retrieved from Ipleaders:

Soni, M. (n.d.). Dowry and Dowry Death . Retrieved from Legal Service India:

Sood, A. (2021, August 1). Families are at war over a wedding tradition India banned decades ago. Retrieved from CNN: