Married woman asked to run household work not "cruelty": Bombay HCtext_fields
Mumbai: The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court ruled that a married woman being asked to do household work for the family cannot be called cruelty.
Quashing a case filed by a woman accusing her estranged husband and in-laws of domestic violence, the bench of Justices Vibha Kankanwadi and Rajesh Patil said that such household work could not be equated to the work of domestic help, PTI reported.
In the complaint filed by the woman, she alleged that her in-laws, along with her husband, treated her well for a month after her marriage, but later they began to treat her as a "maidservant".
She also claimed that her husband and his parents, a month after the marriage, started demanding ₹ 4 lakh to buy a car. In her complaint, the woman said she was then subjected to mental and physical harassment by her husband over this demand.
The high court, in its order, noted that the woman had merely stated she was harassed but had not specified any such action in her complaint.
"If a married lady is asked to do household work definitely for the purpose of the family, it cannot be said it is like a maidservant. If she had no wish to do her household activities, then she ought to have told it either prior to the marriage so that the bridegroom could rethink the marriage itself or if it is after marriage, then such problem ought to have been sorted out earlier," the court said.
It further said mere use of the words' harassment 'mentally and physically' is not sufficient to attract Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code unless such acts are described.
"Unless those acts are described, it cannot be concluded whether those acts amounted to harassment or subjecting a person to cruelty," the high court order stated.
The court said that the allegations made by the wife would not attract the offence under the provision. It allowed the petition filed by the husband and his parents, who requested the court to quash the case.