It is important to note that Mehr or Dower given during Muslim marriages is not the same as dowry. The exchange of Mehr that takes place is as per religious and customary practice, and is absolutely legal.
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Under the Indian law, in case you have been coerced into paying dowry, you can still file a complaint against the offenders.
What is Dowry?
Dowry is anything which has value (such as cash and property) which is given by the bride’s family to the groom’s family as a condition of marriage.
Women’s Right to Take Possession of the Dowry
If dowry has been given or taken at or after your wedding and the same is received by your husband or in-laws or any other person, they have to hand it over to you as it is your property.
Maintaining A List Of Gifts During Marriage
Giving gifts or presents by either the bride or groom at the wedding is not punishable when it has been done voluntarily.
Under the Indian law, it is illegal to demand dowry from anyone related to the bride or groom as a condition of marriage.
Cases of Dowry Death
When the death of a woman within 7 years of her marriage was unnatural, i.e. caused by burns or injuries which are not ordinary, t is assumed that the husband or the relatives of the husband committed the crime of cruelty.