People who falsely claim to have been made to pay a dowry face up to five years in jail under a revised law approved at a regular cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told the Dhaka Tribune that the new Dowry Prohibition Act, 2018 will replace the existing one framed in 1980, and is intended to prevent the filing of false cases.
“Under the new law, anyone convicted of filing a false case under the law will face up to five years in prison or a Tk50,000 fine, or both,” Shafiul said in a briefing at the Bangladesh Secretariat.
Shafiul said the cabinet simultaneously proposed a Tk50,000 fine for demanding or giving dowry, while keeping intact the existing provision of one to five years of imprisonment on the same charge. Both or either penalty could be applied.
Separately on Monday, the cabinet approved the draft of an agreement on coastal shipping which is designed to ease communication on sea routes.
The deal is to be signed by the member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC).
The cabinet was also informed about Bangladesh’s win in the executive committees of three important bodies of the UN Economic and Social Commission (ECOSOC) for 2019-2021 sessions.
The bodies are the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), the Governing Council of UNICEF, and UN Women.
At the onset of Monday’s meeting, the cabinet congratulated the premier for receiving the prestigious Global Women Leadership Award 2018.
It also adopted a condolence motion at the death of Ekushey Padak recipient poet, journalist and translator, Belal Chowdhury.