Here is the Landmark Supreme Court judgment giving our clear definition of Dowry as ascribed in Dowry Prohibition Act. Read paras 7 and 8 which are the operative parts.
Rajinder Singh - Money to build a joint house
8. A perusal of this Section shows that this definition can be broken into six distinct parts.
1) Dowry must first consist of any property or valuable security – the word “any” is a word of width and would, therefore, include within it property and valuable security of any kind whatsoever.
2) Such property or security can be given or even agreed to be given. The actual giving of such property or security is, therefore, not necessary.
3) Such property or security can be given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly.
4) Such giving or agreeing to give can again be not only by one party to a marriage to the other but also by the parents of either party or by any other person to either party to the marriage or to any other person. It will be noticed that this clause again widens the reach of the Act insofar as those guilty of committing the offence of giving or receiving dowry is concerned.
5) Such giving or agreeing to give can be at any time. It can be at, before, or at any time after the marriage. Thus, it can be many years after a marriage is solemnized.
6) Such giving or receiving must be in connection with the marriage of the parties. Obviously, the expression “in connection with” would in the context of the social evil sought to be tackled by the Dowry Prohibition Act mean “in relation with” or “relating to”.
Citations: [2015 SCJ 2 686], [2016 NCC 1 626], [2015 ALLCC 89 352], [2015 SCR 2 835], [2015 AIC 148 33], [2015 SCC 6 477], [2015 AIR SC 1359], [2015 AD SC 3 553], [2015 CRIMES SC 2 90], [2015 SCC ONLINE SC 171], [2015 ALD CRL SC 2 32], [2015 JCC 2 1293], [2015 ACR SC 2 1301], [2015 CCR SC 1 477], [2015 CRILJ 1934], [2015 RCR CRIMINAL 2 129], [2015 UC 1 744], [2015 RLW SC 3 2359]
Indiankanoon.org or Casemine link: https://indiankanoon.org/doc/38957892/ or https://www.casemine.com/judgement/in/5790b23ee561097e45a4e216