Submit affidavits declaring that no dowry was taken: UP officials told
Public servants in Uttar Pradesh will have to declare that they have received no dowry when they were married, the department of women’s welfare said in a recent circular.
All government servants married after April 31, 2004, will have to email affidavits to that effect by October 18, according to the October 12 circular to all the heads of departments, commissioners and district magistrates, among others. The authorities have been requested to take action against personnel who do not comply.
“This is probably for the first time when our department has sought a no-dowry affidavit from government servants in a serious bid to get the provisions of the anti-dowry law enforced in the state,” said Manoj Rai, director, department of women and child welfare.
All public servants in India are mandated to furnish a verified statement at the time of joining work, stating that they will not receive dowry when they get married, according to the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
“Now, we have asked employees who got married after 31, 2004, to furnish an affidavit stating that they did not receive any dowry when they were married,” Rai said.
The department of women’s welfare will have to submit a report on compliance on the no-dowry statements and on action taken for non-compliance to a Parliament legislative committee that is likely to visit the state soon, people aware of the matter said on condition of anonymity.
Uttar Pradesh framed the Dowry Prohibition Rules in 1999 as a follow-up to the federal law. The rules were amended on March 31, 2004, specifically providing in Rule 5 that every government servant will, during his appointment, furnish a self-attested affidavit to the appointing authority, stating he received no dowry in his marriage.
“You are, therefore, requested to necessarily obtain an affidavit from all the government servants posted in offices under you by October 18, with the affidavit stating that they received no dowry in their marriage,” the October circular reads. “Please ensure action against employees who do not give an affidavit to this effect.”
The social evil of dowry is illegal in India. Any violation can be punished with imprisonment up to five years and fine of ₹15,000 or the value of the dowry given, whichever is higher.