If in assertion of conjugal right the accused does a pesky act or wrong amounting to harassment when one' s own spouse avoids her obligation turning blind eye to his right for no good reason it cannot be termed unabetted harassment or cruelty within the meaning of Section 498-A

Indrasing M Raol vs State of Gujarat

Gujarat HC

23/07/1999

1999 (2) GLH 596

About/from the judgment:

On careful scrutiny what becomes clear is that the trial Court has not correctly interpreted the letters. The gist and pith thereof are overlooked. Kailasba had not after the marriage gone to Meerut even for a day though she used to receive affectionate letters from the appellant who also used to express his high regards for the elders. Where found necessary he unflinchingly expressed his repentancy and pang and also expressly or impliedly apologised. Many other letters are not produced but on the basis of those 3 letters it can well be reasonably inferred that the appellant might naturally be trying to know when Kailasba would be reaching Meerut and also it was natural and normal that he would expect and desire or even need his wife to stay with him at Meerut but he did not receive any invigorating response. Being agog he must be experiencing excruciating restiveness unsettledness and frustration which must have made him casually frantic and in a despairing mood or feeling perturbed he groaned and spouted his anguish in the letter using so-called tarts or intemperate language and resorting to arm-twisting trick he just hinted what could be the remote compelling possibility cursorily mentioning that he might marry a local girl and pass them over. When accordingly vomiting out his grief and affliction he has tried to mitigate his woeful situation can only 3 letters out of 50 letters gaining eulogy and laurel of his in- laws be construed as harassment or cruelty envisaged by Section 498-A is the question that arises for consideration.

 

If in assertion of conjugal right the accused does a pesky act or wrong amounting to harassment when one' s own spouse avoids her obligation turning blind eye to his right for no good reason it cannot be termed unabetted harassment or cruelty within the meaning of Section 498-A; but it will amount to expected or incited stormy reaction to the act on the part of the victim or complainant-side. In that case required intention to drive her to be wanting. In the case on hand Kailasba for no good cause was avoiding to go to Meerut where appellant was serving. The evidence reveals that Kailasba was advised by Motiba not to write letters. The object of marriage was being frustrated. The three letters written during disheartening period are therefore the reaction of the unjust provocative act on the part of Kailasba. In other words the same is the flesh and outbreak of a fiery or dejected mind. When that is so the letter or contents thereof even if believed to be impolite or ungracious act will not fall within the ambit of cruelty envisaged by Section 498-A Indian Penal Code because the same will be lacking of required intention to drive her to commit suicide.

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