Dhuleshwar Mina said that a sentence of three to four years in insufficient since it is not a preventative or reformative solution.
Shridhar Vasudeo Dhabe said that changes need to be made to personal law as well so that the husband or his relative be disqualified from inheriting the wife’s property in cases of dowry deaths. Taking on suggestions from the joint committee he recommends that marriage registration be made compulsory with details of the gifts exchanged and expenses. Further, he suggests a prescribed limit of Rs.2000-3000. He continued that Section 498A that prescribes a 3 year sentence and a fine for subjecting women to cruelty should be under section 355 for procedural reasons since Section 498 is regarding a punishment of two years for enticing a woman for illicit intercourse. He also raised concerns about the vague definition of cruelty especially the criteria of “mental health.” Further that the minimum three month sentence under 354(4) would interfere with the legal reconciliation under the Hindu Marriage Act. Also that 498A’s definition of cruel might be used to define lawful acts as unlawful.
Ghulam Rasool Matto stated that these dowry cruelty was a problem mainly of non-Muslim middle class communities and suggested that these laws be suggested to states where the CPC does not apply.
Hayatullah Ansari suggested creating a free helpline and counseling services for married couples and women.
P. Venkatasubbaiah reported that all Union Territories and states have been required to investigate cases of attempted suicide and death of young marries women by officers of and above the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police, with two doctors performing the post mortem with the consent of the guardian from the bride’s side of the family. Also advised setting up District Advisory Committees with a fair representation of women to aid the investigations and for the police to take serious note of deaths of women within ten years of marriage. Also this bill should not be clubbed with the Dowry Pohibition Act since it deals with cruelty to women in special cases and the IPC already has procedures for punishing homicides under Section 304.
Clause 2 to 7 were adopted and 1 was adopted with an amendment to the title making it (Second Amendment).
Rajya Sabha Session Transcript 12.12.1983