The Income Tax Department has summoned Leela Ram Gujjar, a chaiwalla, for giving Rs 1.51 crore as dowry for his 6 daughters. A video showing Gujjar flaunting cash and openly counting notes in front of other villagers went viral last week. He is seen handing over cash to the grooms’ families.
The I-T department has asked him to show the source of his earning, but he has not showed up at the office.
The police are also searching for him because the daughters he has married off are allegedly minors. The police have visited his house, and found that he was missing.
According to the Dowry Prohibition Act 1961, the act of giving or taking dowry is a criminal offence. The term for giving or taking dowry is 5 years. But dowry is still prevalent despite the Act. Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi said that between 2012-2014, there have been more than 25,000 women who died because of dowry-related issues.
On Wednesday, April 12, a newly-wed woman committed suicide after being harassed by her in-laws for her dowry. She recorded a selfie video and sent it to her mother, before hanging herself.
Policy consultant Vandita Morarka tells SheThePeople.TV that the dialogue around dowry has shifted from the actual effects of dowry towards the misuse of dowry laws.
This along with social pressures and stigma has greatly aided the prevalence of dowry despite stringent laws, she says.
Also Read: Dowry and Dowry Harassment: Know Your Rights