The cross-sectional trends in dividends are investigated at an aggregate level of ownership (i.e. closely/largely held and regulated firms), and at disaggregate level across 20 industries to examine how Indian Private Corporate Sector appropriated its profits over 1961-2007 periods. Alternatively it is examined whether internal funds are a significant source of finance and the dynamics of relation between dividends relative to earnings across type of companies and industries. Indian corporate sector pays relatively more equity dividends than preference dividends. Other things being equal, the probability of paying cash dividends decreases with share holder concentration and the regulated companies pay relatively larger dividends. Dividend payouts for all type of firms decline, and such tendency is more pronounced after liberalization periods indicating a greater choice of internal financing through retained earnings. The analysis of inter-corporate and inter-industry variations reveals that dividends interplays differently with exogenous factors.