Neither every cruelty nor every harassment has element of criminal culpability for the purposes of Section 498-A

Savitri Devi vs Ramesh Chand and Ors

Delhi HC

19/05/2003

CRL. R 462/2002

About/from the judgment:

It is apparent, neither every cruelty nor every harassment has element of criminal culpability for the purposes of Section 498-A. There is no problem where there is physical violence and infliction of injury which is likely to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health. In such cases, facts will speak for themselves. We have adopted this defintion from English Law though for the purpose of divorce on the ground of cruelty, Indian Law defines it as a conduct as to cause a reasonable apprhension in the mind of the petitioner that it will be harmful or injurious for the petitioner to live with the other party. Element that cruelty should be of such nature as to cause `danger' to life, limb or health or as to give rise to reasonable ap rehension of such a danger does not exist in Indian Laws of Divorce. This ingredient is of much sterner and higher degree. Supreme Court in Dr.N.G.Dastane Vs. Mrs.S.Dastane (1975) 2 SCC 326 has referred to this aspect of `cruelty' like this:- ry, as under the English law, that the cruelty must be of such a character as to cause `danger' to life, limb or health or as to give rise to a reasonable apprehension of such a danger. Clearly danger to life, limb or health or a reasonable apprehension.

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