‘Asking wife to cook properly does not mean ill-treatment’

bombay high court

The Hush Post: Asking wife to cook properly does not amount to ill-treatment, observed the Bombay High Court. The court made this observation while acquitting Sangli residents, the victim’s husband and her in-laws in a 17-year-old case.

The prosecution had contended that the victim had consumed poison for being scolded by her husband and in-laws for not cooking properly. She also thought that her husband was in an extra-marital relationship.

Telling that a woman should cook properly and carry out the household work well enough does not amount to ill-treatment. And there was no proof of the accused being in an illicit relationship. Justice Sarang Kotwal had said that there is no evidence which suggests that she was being harassed or the case should fall under abetment to suicide. In fact, the accusation does not travel beyond the fact that there was a realm of suspicion.

The accused Vijay Shinde got married to the victim in 1998. The victim committed suicide on June 5, 2001. Hours before it happened, the maternals of the victim and her grandfather had visited her and saw the husband-wife duo quarrelling. The victim’s grandfather was able to pacify the two. But just as he left, he received the news that his grand-daughter was no more and that she had committed suicide. The judge said that the FIR was lodged as an afterthought. The fact that there is just a quarrel in the family is not ground enough to hold someone responsible for abetment to suicide.

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