The husband manages to obtain his wife`s dowry by refusing children or other close descendants. One of the fundamental functions of a dowry was to serve as a form of protection of the woman from the very real possibility of abuse by her husband and family. A dowry used in this way is in fact a conditional gift that must be restored to the wife or her family when the husband divorces, abuses or commits other serious crimes against her. Precious lands and metals have often been used in this form of dowry and are often inalienable by the husband, although he might otherwise use and benefit from them during marriage. Anthropologist Jack Goody`s comparative study of dowry systems around the world, using the ethnographic atlas, showed that dowry is a form of inheritance found in much eurasian societies, from Japan to Ireland, and which practices “divergent devolution,” that is, that transmits the ownership of children of both sexes. This practice differs from the majority of societies in sub-Saharan Africa that practice a “homogeneous inheritance” in which ownership is transferred only to children of the same sex as the real estate owner. These latter African societies are characterized by the transfer of the “price of the bride”, money, goods or property that the groom or his family gave to the parents of the bride (not the bride herself).  There is no specific legislation in English law to settle dowry disputes. Cases reported by English law mainly concern Muslim marriages. There are no concrete cases concerning the return of dowry through a person from the Hindu or Sikh community. Meanwhile, Assam and West Bengal are known as “source states,” places that fight poverty, the consequences of natural disasters and the weight of the dowry system. Here, the dowry is called Dewedda. The payment of dowry in Sri Lanka has a strong tradition and is linked to domestic violence.
 However, their importance is diminishing and the violence associated with it is not as common as in other South Asian countries, although it still exists.  Finally, the Uddin and Choudhury case  EWCA CIV1205 concerned a breach of contract based on a marriage contract between the parties to a Muslim religious marriage. The dispute concerned the return of the Mahr/Dot to the woman`s family and whether the gifts given to the woman by the man`s family should be returned to her family. The judge held, for Sharia reasons (after hearing expert evidence in this case), that the gifts given by the man`s family were absolute and non-refundable and should not be deducted from mahr/dovry. The Mahr/Dowry was still to be paid by the husband to the wife. In addition, Section 113B of the Evidence Act of 1872 produces an additional presumption of dowry death where it is proven that the woman was exposed to cruelty prior to her death as a result of the dowry application.  Section 304B IPC and Section 113B of the Property Act have resulted in the conviction of many persons not covered by the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961.  Section 113A of the Evidence Act provides for a similar presumption of suicidalness (which is a section 306 CPI offence) in the event of the death of a married woman within seven years of her marriage.