The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court dismissed a case brought by a woman against her estranged husband and his parents for domestic violence and cruelty, stating that if a married woman is asked to do household chores for the family, that cannot be compared to the work of domestic help and would not constitute cruelty.
The First Information Report, or police case against the man and his parents, was dismissed on October 21 by a division bench of Justices Vibha Kankanwadi and Rajesh Patil.
The lady said in her lawsuit that after being married, they treated her nicely for one month before treating her like a “maidservant.”
She also said that a month after their marriage, her husband and his parents pressed for 4 lakh to purchase a car. The lady said in her lawsuit that after her husband made this demand, he began to physically and mentally torment her.
In its ruling, the high court observed that the woman’s complaint did not detail any specific instances of harassment, just that she was being harassed.
“It cannot be stated that a married woman is expected to perform home duties solely for the benefit of the family and is acting like a maidservant. If she didn’t want to do her home duties, the bridegroom should have known before the wedding so that he might reconsider getting married. The court said if the issue came up after the wedding, it should have been resolved sooner.
Further, it stated that unless specific acts are mentioned, the phrase “harassment psychologically and physically” alone does not constitute a violation of Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code.
The high court judge noted that it was impossible to determine whether some actions constituted harassment or harsh treatment of a person without more details.
According to the clause, the accusations made by the wife against the husband would not constitute an offense, the court ruled and allowed the petition filed by the husband and his parents seeking to quash the case.