Women’s Right to Take Possession of the Dowry

Last updated on Apr 8, 2022

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.

You have a right to any property given as dowry to your husband and his family.

There is a duty on a person who receives the dowry, to hand it over to the bride itself.

If you fail to do so, you can be punished with jail time anywhere between 6 months to two years and/or fine between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 10,000.

There are different guidelines on this based on when the property was received by your husband or in-laws.

For Example, Raj and Simran get married on August 20th. Simran’s father has given a new house as dowry to Raj’s uncle, Aman in connection with the marriage. In this case, Aman must give it to Simran otherwise he will be punished under the law.

  • If the property was received before the wedding, then Aman must give it to Simran within 3 months of the wedding (before 20th November)
  • If the property was received on the day of the wedding or after, then Aman must give it to Simran within 3 months from the date on which he received it.
  • If Simran was below 18 at the time of her wedding, then Aman must give the car to Simran within 3 months of her turning 18. Aman must keep it in trust for her till she turns 18.

If you die before taking possession of the dowry/property, then your heirs can claim it from your husband or in-laws.

If you die within 7 years of the marriage, then the property will be transferred to your children. It will be held in trust for them until they are 18. If you have no children, the property will go to your parents.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a question you want to ask our legal experts?

Related Resources

Complaining about a Demand for Dowry

Under the Indian law, in case you have been coerced into paying dowry, you can still file a complaint against the offenders.
Crimes and Violence

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.
Crimes and Violence

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.
Crimes and Violence

Demanding Dowry

Under the Indian law, it is illegal to demand dowry from anyone related to the bride or groom as a condition of marriage.
Crimes and Violence

Mehr and Dower Not Dowry

According to the Indian law, It is important to note that Mehr or Dower given during Muslim marriages is not the same as dowry.
Crimes and Violence

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.
Crimes and Violence