Dowry Death (Section 304B)

Cruelty by Husband or relative (Section 498A)


According to Section 304B Dowry death — 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 purpose of this subsection, “dowry” shall have the same meaning as in section 2 of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 (28 of 1961).  

Cruelty by Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty (Section 498A) —  (a) any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or (b) harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.


 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.

Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be pun­ished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.


There is no Explanation Clause about the meaning of Cruelty.

The Explanation clause to Section 498A of Indian Penal Code gives the meaning of Cruelty.

See also 


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