(1) Where the death of a woman is caused by any burns or bodily injury or occurs otherwise than under normal circumstances within seven years of her marriage and it is shown that soon before her death she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or any relative of her husband for, or in connection with, any demand for dowry, such death shall be called “dowry death”, and such husband or relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.

Explanation. For the purposes of this sub-section, “dowry” shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961).

(2) Whoever commits dowry death shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life.

Bullet Points on Section 304B IPC:

  • Section 304B defines “dowry death” as a woman’s demise within seven years of marriage due to injury or abnormal circumstances caused by cruelty related to dowry demands, leading to imprisonment.
  • The person responsible for such a death is considered to have caused it.
  • “Dowry” holds the same meaning as defined in the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
  • The offender of dowry death faces a minimum of seven years’ imprisonment, extendable to life.

Landmark Judgements on Section 304B IPC:

Charan Singh @ Charanjit Singh Vs The State of Uttarakhand: Hon’ble Supreme Court held “Mere death of the deceased being unnatural in the matrimonial home within seven years of marriage will not be sufficient to convict the accused under Section 304B and 498A IPC”.

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