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The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961

ACT NO. 28 OF 1961 [20th May, 1961]

An Act to prohibit the giving or taking of dowry.

BE it enacted by Parliament in the Twelfth Year of the Republic of India as follows:

1. Short title, extent and commencement.-(1) This Act may be called the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

(2) It extends to the whole of India 1***.

(3) It shall come into force on such date2 as the Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, appoint


1. The words "except the State of Jammu and Kashmir" omitted by Act 34 of 2019, s. 95 and the Fifth Schedule (w.e.f. 31-10- 2019).

2. 1st July, 1961, vide notification No. S.O. 1410, dated 20th June, 1961, see Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part II, sec. 3(ii).




Section 2 Definitions

Section 3 Penalty for giving or taking dowry

Section 4 Penalty for demanding dowry

Section 4A Ban on advertisement, Section 5 Agreement for giving or taking dowry to be void

Section 6 Dowry to be for the benefit of the wife or her heirs

Section 7 cognizance of offences

Section 8 Offences to be cognizable for certain purposes and to be bailable and non-compoundable, Section 8A Burden of proof in certain cases

Section 8B Dowry Prohibition Officers

Section 9 Power to make rules

Section 10 Power of the State Government to make rules

Provisions of Indian Penal Code and Indian Evidence Act Relevant Dowry Prohibition Act 1961

Dowry Prohibition (Maintenance of Lists of Presents to the Bride and Bridegroom) Rules, 1985


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