Matrimonial Cruelty to be differentiated from Legal Cruelty.This is the case of Anaya ( name changed) who committed suicide 5 years after her marriage with Sudhir ( name changed). Anaya’s parents filed a complained that she was tortured by her husband and in-laws until she hung herself from the ceiling fan and committed suicide in her husband Sudhir’s house. The accused and co-accused were convicted of the offences punishable under Sections 498A and 306 read with Section 34 of the IPC and Sudhir was sentenced to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 3 years for the offence punishable under Section 498A read with Section 34 of the IPC and to suffer rigorous imprisonment for 10 years for the offence punishable under Section 306 read with Section 34 of the IPC.
Sudhir and his family submitted an application and appealed to the court to suspend the sentence and grant bail to the applicant during the pendency of appeal. The court allowed the Application.
Why? The Court held that “Cruelty implies harsh and harmful conduct with certain intensity and persistence. It covers acts causing both physical and mental agony and torture or tyranny and harm as well as unending accusations and recrimination reflecting bitterness putting the victim thereof to intense miscarries. The conduct, in order to prove guilt, must be such as strongly stirring up the feeling in the mind of a married woman that life is now not worth living and she should die, being the only option left. In other words, provisions of Section 498A of the IPC envisage intention to drawing or force a woman to commit suicide by unabated persistence and grave cruelty. A willful conduct of such a nature as is likely to propel or compel a married woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to her life; limb or health is required to be established. In other words, matrimonial cruelty is to be differentiated from the definition of legal cruelty. To put it in other words, ordinary petulance and discord or differences in domestic life does not amount to cruelty”. To conclude, without knowledge and intention, there cannot be abetment. Matrimonial cruelty is different from legal cruelty.
Asha (name changed) was a qualified IT professional and had a good job in a multi-national company. She earned well and lived with her parents in a suburb in Mumbai. Shailesh often visited their company and he met Asha regarding some maintenance work in Asha’s department. Gradually, they became friends, shared numbers, met for coffee and eventually started enjoying each other’s company. As they drew closer to each other, they thought they would make a good married couple and decided to tie the knot.
Shailesh promised to marry Asha, however, both had not disclosed their affair to their parents. The intimacy grew to a physical relationship and Asha did not hesitate as she had complete faith in Shailesh. They began to meet regularly in a hotel and continued their sexual relationship for around 8 to 10 months. Asha thought it was high time they thought seriously about their marriage. She introduced Shailesh to her parents and announced her decision to marry him. The parents gave their consent as the boy was good, he had a good income and belonged to a respectable family. Their chief concern, of course, was their daughter’s happiness. Shailesh’s parents too agreed to their marriage.
Shaileha and Asha got engaged to each other. Few months passed and Asha’s parents insisted on fixing an early date for the marriage. However, Shailesh kept on avoiding the topic every time they approached him. Meanwhile, Asha and Shailesh continued meeting and having sex. One day, Shailesh told Asha that he was in a financial crisis and wanted Rs. two lakhs. She thought that soon they would be married and that she ought to help her partner in difficult times, so she gave him the money. A couple of months later, he asked for another two lakhs and this time too, she gave him the money. At the same time, she urged him to fix the marriage date.
Asha’s parents were worried about the delay. They visited Shailesh’s parents one day and brought out the topic seriously. With great reluctance, Shailesh agreed to date three months thence. Once more, he demanded Rs. three lakhs from Asha. This time Asha did not give him the amount willingly. As the date of marriage drew near, Asha noted a change in his behaviour and asked him what the matter was. He said that he would not marry her until she gave him Rs. 5 lakhs more. Asha smelt something foul. She lodged a complaint of rape and violence against him.
Girls or women often approach the court for being raped or sexually harassed. As per the dictionary, rape indicates sexual intercourse without the consent of the victim. Here is an interesting case of Sheela (name changed) and Raghuveer (Name changed). Sheela complained that she was raped by Raghuveer in a hotel, but he promised to marry her. Under the pretext of his promise, he had physical relationship with her several times. Eventually they got engaged and the date of marriage was fixed. They got married after four months.
A month after the marriage Sheela was stunned by Raghuveer’s behaviour as he use to force her to have sex with him even when she was unwell. In a month’s time Sheela filed a case in the court against Raghuveer that she has been sexually harassed and raped by him repeatedly, that he used to beat her, torture her.
Now the question is, was Sheela sexually harassed by her husband and raped?
In this case, the Hon. High Court held that, “It cannot be said that act of marriage is a precedent for giving a free consent for sex”. Thus, Rughuveer was Convicted for sexually harassing and raping Sheela. So beware! Marriage is not a free consent to have sex. You cannot twist facts to fit into the law!!
The Old Joshi couple was happy with their daughter married into a good family and also their elder son. The happiness was complete when their younger son Sudhir got married. There was no problem at all. They had a big bungalow in Pune. The elder son Mihir lived on the second floor while the old couple occupied the ground floor. Sudhir insisted on living separately. He was accommodated in part of the ground floor. With two sons well-settled in their jobs and living in the same building, The Joshi couple should have been the happiest couple in the world. Unfortunately, they cared little for their parents. They did not care to clean the premises or to pay the taxes or bills and lived for the most part at the expense of their old parents. They did not look after them if they fell ill and did not bother about their food. Conflicts and quarrels took place every day. How long would the parents tolerate the cruelty of their sons? Since the behaviour of the two sons and their wives became unbearable, they filed a suit seeking a decree of mandatory injunction directing them to vacate the floors in their possession and also to restrain them from creating any third party interest in the said property.
Indeed, law came to the aid and gave them relief. They filed a case against their sons. It was proved that the property of was self-acquired. It was not inherited by Mr. Joshi senior. It was stated that sons, whether married or unmarried had no right to occupy property that is self-acquired by parents. They can live in their parents’ house only if the parents grant them permission.
Sudhir and Mihir were ordered by the court to pay the bills and compensation amount and vacate the house immediately.
No entry for you sons, when you do not care for parents!!!!