Saturday, 20 October 2012

Presumed to be guilty under IPC Section 304B - Dowry Death

One of the dangerous provisions of IPC is Section 304B. If the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage then her husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death. To attract the provisions of section 304B, one of the main ingredients of the offence which is required to be established is that "soon before her death" she was subjected to cruelty and harassment "in connection with the demand of dowry"; (Prema S. Rao v. Yadla Srinivasa Rao, AIR 2003 SC 11). Such death shall be called “dowry death”, punishable with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Any common sense would led to believe that  the husband or any of his relative could be guilty of the offence only if he or she directly participated in the actual commission of the offence. In contrary, Section 304B of the Indian Penal Code would be applicable if cruelty or harassment was inflicted by the husband on any of his relative for, or in connection with demand for dowry, immediately preceding the death by bodily injury or by burning. In short she should have died in abnormal circumstances within seven years of the marriage. In such circumstances the husband or the relative, as the case may be, will be deemed to have caused her death and will be liable to punishment (Vadde Rama Rao v. State of Andhra Pradesh, 1990 Cr LJ 1666).

This is very dangerous provision in IPC which could implicate a husband or relative to dowry death by associating some stray incidents of cruelty with unnatural death. Under this section the accused are presumed to be guilty of murder in contrary to the basic principle of law that anyone is innocent unless proved guilty. It has been held by the lawmakers that in dowry death cases and in most of such offences direct evidence is hardly available and hence they have enacted a rule of presumption on the basis of which charges can be framed for murder. A person framed under this section would hardly get proper chance to defend himself. Even without any proof that the husband or relative has caused the death they can be branded by the court as murderer.


  1. One of the biggest HOAXs of recent times (crossing USA's Moon Hoax too).
    An assumed Criminal law.
    What happens if the Husband gets killed within first 7 years of his marriage?
    Public Service ............ right, NCW? Hightime before men wake up and so do the self-respecting women.

    1. wow hoax, say that when your daughter gets killed.

    2. Rahul.... why ONLY daughter... you will feel the same pain when your son gets killed..

      Do you have a separate law when your daughter gets killed by your son-in-law and your son gets killed by your daughter-in-law.

      How fare do you think that the in-laws are genuine in making 304-B cases?

      Don't be single sided be neutral and stop pointing some personally

  2. I liked some initiatives by men who have started sending letters to ministers and political parties that they will vote only to those parties, who will take care of rights of men. If every man takes such new initiatives than time is not far when gender equality will be achieved and gender biased laws will be changed

  3. There are many such cases in which the lady is the culprit... bt because of these women- favoured law s... their innocent husband and his relatives have to suffer hard times.. in all possible aspects.. physically, mentally and emotionally as well...
    In spite of being a girl.. I still believe that even the husband's family should have equal rights. They should not be called guilty or taken as a criminal until and unless it's not proven... why should they suffer when they haven't done anything..