Negative Comments on Wife’s Cooking Not Deemed Cruelty under Section 498A: Bombay High Court

Jan15,2024 #498 a #Bombay HC #cruelty #WIFE

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Published on: January 15, 2024 at 11:00 IST

The Bombay High Court has recently ruled that making derogatory remarks about a wife’s culinary skills does not amount to cruelty under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The Court made this observation while quashing a First Information Report (FIR) filed by a woman against her husband’s relatives, accusing them of cruelty under Section 498A [Sandesh Madhukar Salunkhe & Anr v. State of Maharashtra & Anr].

The complainant alleged that her husband’s brothers taunted and insulted her, claiming she lacked cooking skills and had not been taught anything by her parents.

However, a division bench consisting of Justices Anuja Prabhudessai and NR Borkar held that such comments did not meet the criteria for cruelty under Section 498A.

“In the instant case, the only allegation levelled against these Petitioners is that they had commented that Respondent No.2 does not know how to cook. Such comment does not constitute ‘cruelty’ within the meaning of the Explanation to Section 498-A of the Indian Penal Code,” stated the Court.

The woman’s complaint detailed that her marriage took place on July 13, 2020, and she was allegedly forced out of her matrimonial home in November 2020. The FIR was filed on January 9, 2021, with claims that her husband failed to establish a conjugal relationship since their marriage.

The accused parties approached the Court seeking the quashing of the FIR.

The Court ruled that trivial disputes did not amount to cruelty as defined by Section 498A of the IPC. It emphasized that establishing continuous or persistent cruelty is necessary to prove an offense under Section 498A. Based on this, the Court deemed the case suitable for quashing and granted the petition filed by the two relatives.

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