NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK IS A SHAKTI VAHINI LEGAL RESEARCH INITIATIVE
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has proposed recommendations to amend the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 in 2009. The major recommendations include:-
1. Amendment to definition of dowry.
2. Provision for registration of lists of gifts received at the time of marriage.
3. Provision for separate penalties for giving and taking of dowry.
4. Penalties for non-maintenance of lists of gifts received at the time of the marriage.
5. Insertion of a new clause providing an opportunity to the woman to file a case at the place where the offence was committed or where she permanently/temporarily resides.
6. Protection officers appointed under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 to carry out the duties of the Dowry Prohibition Officers.
The recommendations made by the NCW were discussed in an Inter-Ministerial meeting and the Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Bill 2010 was drafted in consultation with the Ministry of Law and Justice. As a number of representations were received against the proposed amendments, the NCW held further consultation at the request of the Ministry and provided the minutes of the same. Thereafter, the Ministry held a Regional Consultation on 17 November, 2011 and a National Consultation on 12 January, 2012 with the representatives of State Governments, police, Legal Services Authorities etc., to discuss the issues in implementation of the Act and share best practices. The Ministry is currently examining the proposed amendments in the light of the deliberations made in these Consultations.