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A Delhi court has discharged the sister-in-law of a woman of dowry harassment charge, saying the allegations of being “rough and rude” and “not allowing her to enter kitchen” do not amount to cruelty.

District and Sessions Judge Ina Malhotra upheld the magisterial court’s order that had charged the woman’s husband and his parents for the offences under sections 498A(cruelty) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of IPC but had discharged her sister-in-law Shabana of the charges.

“Allegation of being rough and rude or not allowing the woman to enter the kitchen to cook food does not attract the charge of Section 498A of IPC. The cruelty so alleged, if at all inflicted, does not connect with any demand for dowry,” the judge said.

The sessions court, which was hearing the revision plea of the woman against the trial court order discharging Shabana, said that there was no prima facie substance to justify framing of charges against her. According to the complaint of the woman, she got married in 2005 and within a few months she was harassed and tortured for dowry by her husband and in-laws, who had also taken all her jewellery and wedding gifts.

She claimed that on one occasion she brought Rs one lakh from her parents but her in-laws were not satisfied and continued to ill-treat her. She had also claimed that her sister-in-law Shabana’s behaviour towards her was rude and rough and she did not allow her to enter the kitchen.

Following this, she had lodged an FIR against her in-laws and approached the court. The trial court had framed charges against her husband and parents-in-law for beating and torturing her for dowry, but had discharged Shabana. Aggrieved by the decision of discharging Shabana, the woman filed the revision petition.


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