Kerala panel to exempt dowry givers from punishment

The Kerala State Administrative Reforms Commission proposes to treat dowry givers as victims and exempt them from punishment under the Kerala Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961. As per the provisions of the Act, both the givers and receivers of dowry are liable to receive punishment on similar grounds.

The Commission found that despite all attempts to curb the dowry menace, it seems to be on the rise as the law lacks teeth. Moreover there is a clause in the Act which states that gifts may be given during marriage. This itself shows the prevalence of the practice under another name. It found that in most cases, dowry was given under pressure from those demanding it and hence sought to exempt dowry givers from punishment.