Wife leaving matrimonial house with traditional marriage ornaments cannot be booked for cheating: Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court recently quashed a cheating and fraud case against a woman, whose husband accused her of taking away valuable ornaments and cell phone [Mithu Dash @ Bhuiya vs State of Maharashtra].

Single-judge Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul) noted that the petitioner-woman was married to the complainant-man since last 29 years and left her matrimonial house after she was tortured mentally and physically.

The bench noted from the material on record, that the woman had taken away – one piece gold Bala (bangle), one Loha covered with gold, two piece pola, covered with gold, one pair Sankhabadhano churi covered with gold. These ornaments, the bench noted were usually marriage ornaments and were worn by traditional Bengali married women.

Further, the petitioner was accused of taking away two mobile phones, one gold chain of her son and one gold necklace of her own.

“These ornaments/accessories as described, are worn on regular basis by a traditional Bengali married woman, who chooses to wear them. The phones which might be for her own use and the ornaments as described, cannot be the basis of a criminal case between a married couple, that too, after 29 years of marriage,” Justice Dutt held in the order.

These allegations, the bench said, clearly do not make out any case as alleged against the petitioner.

“Thus, this is a fit case where the inherent powers of this court should be exercised for ends of justice, to prevent abuse of process of the law/court,” the bench opined, while quashing the proceedings.

By way of facts, the petitioner was married to one Siddhartha Bhuiya in 1999, who was an advocate by profession.

Due to tremendous torture after marriage, she left the matrimonial house in May 2019 after lodging a complaint under Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The petitioner argued that the instant complaint against her by the husband was a counter blast to her initial complaint. She alleged that her husband by misusing his status as a practising advocate of Alipore Court, filed false and fabricated criminal cases against her with mischievous intention.

Advocates Sanat Kumar Das, Satadru Lahiri and Safdar Azam appeared for the Wife.

Advocate Subham Bhakat appeared for the State.

Advocates Manas Kumar Das and Aritra Kumar Talukder represented the Husband.

Source: Bar & Bench

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