If A Married Lady Is Asked To Do Household Work, It Cannot Be Said As She Is Being Treated As Maid-Servant: Bombay High Court






A division bench of Justice Vibha Kankanwadi and Justice Rajesh S. Patilof the Bombay High Court while dealing with the application seeking quashing of FIR filed by a lady against her husband and his family members, observed that a married lady being asked to do household work, it cannot be said as she is being treated as maid-servant.

“If a married lady is asked to do household work definitely for the purpose of the family, it cannot be said that it is like a maid servant. If she had no wish to do her household activities, then she ought to have told it either prior to the marriage so that the bride-groom can rethink about the marriage itself or if it is after marriage, then such problem ought to have been sorted out earlier”.

In the FIR wife stated that, after the one month of the marriage she was treated like a maid servant by her husband’s family member. She alleged that her husband’s family had demanded Rs. 4 lakhs from her father for purchasing a four-wheeler. Her husband started abusing her mentally and physically when she said that her father can’t afford to give the said amount.

The bench noted that the wife has not given the details of the alleged mental and physical harassment faced by her.

“Mere use of the word harassment “mentally and physically” are not sufficient to attract ingredients of Section 498-A of IPC”, the court stated. The court added that it cannot be determined whether the acts of the accused constitute cruelty unless those acts are described.

The bench observed that the evidence produced by the wife does not show that why the wife went to her parental home and why she kept quiet for more than two months to lodge the FIR for the said allegations against her husband and his family members.

“The allegations those have been made and the collection of evidence is not sufficient even at this prima facie stage to attract the ingredients of offence punishable under Section 498-A of IPC, further as regards offence under Section 323, 504, 506 read with Section 34 of IPC is concerned, it is in fact already conferred under Section 498-A of IPC and unless those other offences are shown which would amount to “cruelty”, offence under Section 498-A of IPC cannot be made out and, therefore, it would be a futile exercise to ask the applicants to face the trial.

The bench set aside the FIR and the proceedings pending against the husband and his family members.

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