Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Delhi court upholds cruelty, theft charges against husband, in-laws, rejects minimal stay duration argument

A Delhi court has upheld the decision of a magisterial court to frame charges of cruelty and theft against the husband and in-laws of a woman.

The court said that there is no legal requirement specifying a minimum duration for a married woman to stay at her matrimonial home before filing a complaint against her in-laws for cruelty.

Additional Sessions Judge, Sunil Gupta, addressed a revision petition filed by the woman’s husband and in-laws challenging the magisterial court’s order.

The charges under sections 498A (cruelty) and 379 (theft) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) were based on allegations that the woman was subjected to dowry demands, physical abuse, and jewelry theft.

Highlighting a crucial legal principle, the judge stated: “At the stage of framing of charge, the court has to see whether a prima facie case is made out against the accused.”

The defence’s argument, saying no harassment due to the complainant’s brief 11-day stay at her matrimonial home, was dismissed by the court.

It clarified that there’s no legal stipulation for a minimum stay duration before filing a complaint under section 498A.

The court also addressed concerns about the differently-abled brother-in-law facing charges under IPC section 379, saying that the determination of his physical capability would be assessed during the trial through evidence presented by both parties.

Ultimately, the sessions court dismissed the revision petition, asserting, “There is no illegality in the impugned order so as to justify interference.”



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