The Kerala government has issued a circular directing all male government employees to furnish a declaration to their heads of departments within one month of their marriage that they have not taken any dowry vide circular dated July 16, 2021, issued by the Women and Child Development Department. The “no dowry declaration” has to be signed by the employee’s wife, father and father-in-law. The decision comes after Kerala has faced various horrendous dowry related incidents in the past few weeks.
Key highlights of the circular are:
- The State Women and Child Development Director, who is also the Chief Dowry Prohibition Officer as per the Kerala Dowry Prohibition (Amendment) Rules, 2021, has asked the heads of departments to obtain and maintain declarations from government employees that they have not asked for, taken, or exhorted the receipt of dowry,
- The employees have to submit the form within one month of marriage, and it needs to be signed by the wife, father, and father-in-law. The form is to be submitted to the heads of all departments, including private, autonomous, and other institutions that have been directed to obtain the declaration confirming that they have “not asked for, taken, or exhorted the receipt of dowry”.
- The heads have also been asked to compile and maintain a report on all declarations that are received by employees, and submit the report every six months before April 10 and October 10 every year. This report is to be submitted to the District Dowry Prohibition Officer (District Women and Child Development Officer) of the concerned district. The District Officer will then submit a report of the departments that have not furnished the declarations before April 15 and October 15 every year. This procedure has been stated as mandatory under the Act and the Rules, according to the circular.
- The Kerala government has also declared November 26 as Dowry Prohibition Day in Kerala, wherein all students in high schools, higher secondary and vocational higher secondary schools, colleges, and other educational institutions in the state will take a pledge to not partake in the taking or giving of dowry during a general assembly at the institution.
*Tanvi Singh, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.