Matrimonial websites encouraging 'dowry' soon to be blocked

The Union government has issued guidelines to all the states to block matrimonial websites that encourage dowry.

Despite it being the 21st century, with people trying to shatter stereotypes and slowly coming out of their shells to speak about women empowerment, the dreaded dowry system still continue to haunt the Indian brides. Surprisingly, it’s not only the age-old mindset followed by the ancient society but apparently has been encouraged by various matrimonial sites as well. However, the government seems to have taken cognisance of the situation and are taking serious steps to battle it.

According to media reports, the Bombay High Court was recently informed by the Union government about the guidelines it has issued to all the states to block matrimonial websites that encourage dowry.

The state government was asked to supervise the functioning of matrimonial websites. Some of the advertisements that appeared on the matrimonial websites were found encouraging dowry and were violating the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

A PIL filed by advocate Priscila Samuel on the dowry menace read, “Such guidelines have been issued to all the states, including Maharashtra, and it is for the state governments to act on them.”

Advocate General Rohit Deo along with Government Pleader Abhay Patki, appearing for the state government, ensured the court that necessary steps would be taken to implement these plans.

Government leader Abhay Patki further asserted that the state would file an affidavit within two weeks stating all the details of the steps that would be taken to form the grievance redressal mechanism and district level advisory boards along with the timespan required for their setup.

Rohit Deo, advocate general also told the court that this decision of appointing dowry prohibition officers was taken under the consideration of the state Women and Child Welfare Department.

However, the proposal would be placed before the Cabinet for approved only after its approval from the General Administration and Finance Departments.

Patki further mentioned that he’d mention all the details about steps taken till date and the time required for appointing dowry prohibition officers on an affidavit.

The court has granted two weeks to the state to file an affidavit in this matter. Although the Dowry Prohibition Act was enabled in 1961, the state had hardly taken any steps to control the threat, claimed the PIL.