One or two instances of physical assault”, even if found to be true, cannot make for a case of cruelty for the purpose of satisfying unlawful demand, a Delhi court has observed, while discharging the in-laws of a woman in a dowry harassment case.
Additional Sessions Judge Pulastya Pramachala dismissed the woman’s revision petition and upheld a magisterial court order freeing her brothers-in-law and a sister-in-law of the offences under sections 498A (cruelty), 406(criminal breach of trust) with 34 (common intention) of the IPC and under Dowry Prohibition Act.
The woman’s husband, who is also arrayed as an accused in the case, has been declared as a proclaimed offender.
“I do find that she had made very vague and general kind of allegations involving name of all family members of her husband to allege that they used to harass her to bring more dowry,” the judge said.
Observing that there were no specific allegations against the in-laws which could prima facie show that they used to torture and harass her, the judge said, “One or two instances of physical assault, even if found to be true, can’t make out a case of cruelty for the purpose of satisfying unlawful demand.”
The court also said that the cruelty or torture, as contemplated in section 498A of IPC denotes to a “continuous process” and the ingredients of the offence were not satisfied in the present case.
“From the allegations made by the complainant, even I am unable to find any case of continuous torture, if committed by any of the respondents for the purpose of making demand of dowry or any other unlawful demand,” it said.