What legislative measures have been taken in India to tackle the menace of dowry in India?
1. Inclusion of the Dowry in Civil as well as Criminal legal processes
2. Enactment of special legislative acts against the tradition of dowry
3. Clear differentiation of Dowry and Streedhan in various laws
4. Made harassment for dowry and cruelty to a woman in her matrimonial home a compoundable offence
Choose the correct option from the codes given below:

Answer: [A] Only 1 & 2

In the above question, the notable statements are 3 and 4 which both have been framed as incorrect statements. The problem with India’s dowry legislations is that it hardly demarcates the boundary between the Dowry and Streedhan. Streedhan belongs to the woman while dowry is something which is given by either party to another. The fourth statement wants to know if you know about compoundable and non-compoundable offences.

Compoundable offences are those which can be compromised by the parties to the dispute. The permission of the court is not necessary. When an offence is compounded, the party, who has been aggrieved by the offence, is compensated for his grievance.

But in Indian laws, the offence is non-compoundable. Some see this as a lacuna because being a noncompoundable offence, the dowry laws have been misused to harass the groom’s family. We note here that Law Commission in 2012 recommended watering down the anti-dowry law to make it less stringent by allowing the woman involved in the case to withdraw the case with the permission of the court provided she is not under any pressure. The commission, headed by Justice PV Reddi, has recommended to the government to make Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which deals with harassment for dowry and cruelty to a woman in her matrimonial home, a compoundable offence.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module