New Delhi, Dec. 16: The Rajya Sabha today passed the Dowry Prohibition Bill but after deleting a controversial explanation, added by the Lok Sabha, thus making the Bill more vigorous. To the definition of Dowry the Rajya Sabha made two other amendments in the Bill, one of which deletes the provision making penal “the demand” of a dowry. The Bill will now go back to the Lok Sabha for its concurrence to the amendments.
The deletion of “explanation one” to the definition of the Dowry restores the position to what it was when both the Houses reported to Parliament.
The explanation has been added in the Lok Sabha on an official amendment but was deleted by voice vote in the Rajya Sabha after the Law Minister had announced that there was no whip.
The explanation sought to exempt from the definition of “dowry” prohibited by the Bill.
“Any presents made at the time of a marriage in the form of cash, ornaments, clothes or others articles”….
“unless they are made as consideration for the marriage of the parties.”
The deletion of the clause penalising the “demand” of the dowry was effected by 25 votes to 21. The Law
Minister agreed with members who demanded deletion that the provision might give rise to blackmail.
The third amendment accepted by the House, by 21 votes to 19, added the words “directly or indirectly” to the definition of dowry, namely, “any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given, directly or
indirectly etc.”This amendment also restores the position to what it was in the Joint Committee’s Report.