In-Laws’ Comment on Bride’s Cooking Not Cruelty: Bombay High Court

Mumbai: Comments of a woman’s in-laws that she didn’t know how to cook and that her parents didn’t teach her anything did not amount to cruelty under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), ruled the Bombay High Court.

Section 498A states that a husband or the relative of a husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years and also liable for a fine.

A bench of Justices Anuja Prabhudessai and NR Borkar were hearing a petition filed by the relatives of a man whose wife had registered an FIR against them in Maharashtra’s Sangli district.

The woman got married on July 13, 2020. As per her allegation, she was driven out of her matrimonial home in November 2020. She claimed that her husband was unable to establish a relationship with her since she got married.

The wife had alleged in her FIR that her husband’s brothers used to taunt and insult her by saying that she did not know how to cook and that her parents did not teach her anything.

The relatives approached the court to cancel the FIR. It was during the hearing of the plea that the court held that petty quarrels did not constitute cruelty within the meaning of Section 498A of the IPC.

The court, while cancelling the FIR, ruled that it needed to establish whether the woman was subjected to cruelty continuously or persistently to prove an offence under Section 498A.

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