Downy dying and bride burning are signs of strange social illness and are an unlucky growth of our societal setup. The lawmakers taking issues word of the grave downside enacted a brand new provision to make the regulation pragmatic and sensible.
In 1986 a particular provision Part 304B was inserted within the IPC to cope with dowry deaths. A simultaneous modification was made within the Indian Proof Act, 1872 within the type of Part 113B. The rule of proof to show the offense of dowry dying is contained in Part 113B, Proof Act offering for presumption as to dowry dying.
The necessities of Part 304B are as follows:
- (1) The dying of a lady have to be triggered inside by burns or bodily harm or in any other case than beneath regular circumstances
- (2) The dying should happen inside 7 years of marriage
- (3) Lady should have been subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or his kinfolk.
- (4) Cruelty or harassment ought to be in reference to the demand of dowry and shortly earlier than dying.
- (5) Such cruelty or harassment is proven to have been met out to the girl quickly earlier than her dying
Part 304B imposes a statutory obligation on a courtroom to presume that the accused has dedicated the dowry dying when the prosecution proves that:
- (i) The dying of his spouse has occurred in any other case than beneath regular circumstances inside seven years of her marriage; and
- (ii) quickly earlier than her dying she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or his kinfolk in reference to a requirement for dowry.
If any accused desires to flee from the catch, the burden is on him, to disprove it. If he fails to grab the presumption the courtroom is certain to behave upon it.
Dowry’s dying is a non-bailable and cognizable offense.
Expression: Loss of life ……….in any other case than beneath regular circumstances
The prosecution is required to show unnatural dying and when there’s nothing to point out that the dying of the sufferer is unnatural then it doesn’t quantity to the offense beneath part 304B. The phrases dying attributable to burns or bodily harm is redundant as a result of such dying would additionally fall throughout the huge province of dying triggered in any other case than beneath regular circumstances.
304B applies to a case of suicide the place it’s the sequel to cruelty or harassment with the demand of dowry. The dying of a spouse by strangulation or abdomen ache with none historical past of dreadful illness of the abdomen are lined throughout the deaths in any other case than triggered beneath regular circumstances.
The expression ‘in any other case than beneath regular circumstances ‘would imply that the dying is because of an uncommon trigger’ and beneath suspicious circumstances if not attributable to burns or bodily harm.
Expression: “Topic to the cruelty of harassment”
Part 304B doesn’t clarify the time period cruelty. Nevertheless, S.498A of IPC, presents what quantities to cruelty.
In Shanti vs the State of Haryana2, the Supreme Court docket held that S.304B and 498A will not be mutually unique. And the that means of cruelty given in rationalization to S.498A having regard to frequent background to S.304B and S. 498A, could be utilized to S.304B. The expression cruelty postulates such remedy as to trigger affordable apprehension within the thoughts of the spouse that her residing with the husband might be dangerous and injurious to her life.
In State of Rajasthan vs Jaagu Ram3, the dying of the deceased occurred inside one and half years of marriage on account of head accidents. Merciless remedy and harassment had been met out to her instantly after her marriage until her dying for bringing inadequate dowry. It was held that beneath such circumstances S.304B might be attracted.
Expression: “For or in reference to demand for dowry”
The primary element of S.304B is that the dying of the ladies shouldn’t solely be beneath the circumstances specified within the part but additionally the consequence of the demand for dowry.
As per the reason Dowry means “dowry as outlined beneath S.2 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961”. Part 2(1) of the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 defines dowry as follows:
On this act, `dowry’ means any property or beneficial safety given or agreed to be given both immediately or not directly:
a) by one occasion to a wedding to the opposite occasion to the wedding; or
b) by the dad and mom of both occasion to a wedding or by another particular person, to both occasion to the wedding or to another particular person at or earlier than or any time after the wedding in reference to the wedding of mentioned events however doesn’t embody dower or mahr within the case of individuals to whom the Muslim Private Legislation (Shariat) applies.
Clarification II.-The expression `beneficial safety has the identical that means as in Sec. 30 of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
Settlement for dowry just isn’t at all times needed:
The phrase settlement referred to in part 2 must be inferred from the details and circumstances of the case. The interpretation that the accused seeks that there could be conviction provided that there’s an settlement for dowry is misconceived. This might be opposite to the mandate and the item of the Act.
In Pawan Kumar vs Ste of Haryana, the Supreme Court docket held that it isn’t at all times needed that there be any settlement for dowry. When persistent calls for for a TV and scooter are constituted of the bride after the wedding or from her dad and mom it might represent be in reference to the wedding and it might be a case of demand for dowry beneath Part 304B.
Expression: “Quickly earlier than her dying”
Part 304B makes use of the phrases that it ought to be proven that quickly earlier than her dying, the girl was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband. Given these phrases, the prosecution should set up that any merciless remedy or was close by instantly previous her dying.
Quickly earlier than is a relative time period and it might depend upon the circumstances of every case and no straight jacket method could be laid down as to what constitutes a interval quickly earlier than the incidence. It will be hazardous to point any mounted interval.
It must be judged from the details and circumstances of the case. The significance of the proximity check is each for the proof of offense of dowry and for elevating a presumption beneath S.113B of the Proof Act.
In Satvir Singh vs the State of Punjab 4there was no ample proof to point out that the spouse was subjected to cruelty quickly earlier than her dying she tried to commit suicide. The conviction of the accused beneath part 304B/306 was due to this fact put aside and his conviction beneath 498Awas confirmed.
The Supreme Court docket in Kunhiabdulla vs the State of Kerala5 noticed that the phrases ‘quickly earlier than’ utilized in Part 304B have for use comparatively relying upon the details and circumstances of the case and no straightjacket method could be laid down for deciding as to what constitutes quickly earlier than the interval within the context of incidence of dowry dying.
Presumption as to Dowry Loss of life
Part 113B of the Indian Proof Act, 1872 talks in regards to the Presumption as to dowry dying. If a lady dies about any demand for dowry and it was proven that quickly earlier than her dying she was subjected to harassment or cruelty by any such particular person. Then the courtroom shall presume that such particular person had triggered such dowry dying.
Part 113B makes use of the phrase “shall” thus it’s a presumption of regulation. On proof of the necessities talked about above, it turns into compulsory for the courtroom to boost a presumption that the accused triggered the “dowry dying”. The courtroom has no discretion to attract the presumption beneath this Part if the important elements are proved then they’re certain to attract this presumption beneath Sec.113B of the Indian Proof Act.
Whether it is proved that quickly earlier than her dying, the girl was subjected to cruelty or harassment in reference to a dowry demand, then the presumption beneath S.113B could be raised. If the prosecution has didn’t show the case beneath Sec 304B, IPC, then, no presumption could be raised beneath Sec. 113B of the Indian Proof Act.
Thus, S.304B is an integral a part of S.113B of the Indian Proof Act, 1872. Cruelty needn’t be confined to bodily cruelty. Even psychological torture in a given case can be a case of cruelty or harassment beneath 304B and 498A.
In Shanti v State of Haryana6, the dying of a lady befell inside seven years of marriage, the in-laws of the deceased didn’t inform the deceased’s dad and mom in regards to the dying and hurriedly cremated the deceased. The prosecution succeeded in establishing merciless remedy in direction of the sufferer. The dying couldn’t be mentioned to be a pure dying and the presumption beneath S.113B of the Proof Act was attracted.