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Vague Taunts And Statements Not Cruelty: Bombay High Court

Going opposite from the norm, it is now the husband’s family that is getting falsely implicated.

The Bombay High Court has specified that vague taunts and statements cannot count as cruelty under the section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code.

Women’s rights do get trampled and violent cruelty is also common towards the fairer sex. That being said, there are a lot of cases where women have falsely fabricated and leveled allegations against the husband or his family.

Women nowadays have started implicating the husband’s family over vague statements and taunts. Concluding everything under the Section 498-A of IPC

“Nowadays, it has become a tendency to make vague and omnibus allegations against every member of the family of the husband, implicating everybody under Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code,” said a division bench of justices ZA Haq and Amit Borkar.

“Hence, it has become necessary for the courts to carefully scrutinise the allegations and to find out if the allegations really constitute an offence and meet the requirements of the law, at least prima facie,” the bench added. It struck down the offence of matrimonial cruelty registered by the Nagpur Police against three persons under Section 498-A.

The Case

The case in point here is is that of Dr Kausar Fatima. The case reported on 12th September was against Shabnam Sheikh, her husband and sister. The plaintiff is married to the defendant’s brother and accused Shabnam and others for taunting her.

The accusation was that the defendants had told her that they had high connections.They also said Fatima was useless to her husband even after being educated.

The bench struck it down the offense stating that this does not consist as cruelty.

The high court clearly said that such taunts and statements could not be considered cruelty against a married women.

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“In the present case, sisters-in-law and brother-in-law have been arraigned as accused without there being specific allegations as regards the nature of cruelty, as contemplated by Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code,” said the bench.

“On overall reading of the FIR and the charge sheet, we are of the opinion that there are no allegations against the present applicants which constitute offences alleged against them, hence we are of the opinion that continuance of present proceedings would amount to an abuse of process of law,” the bench added.

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