Calling Partner “Bhoot, Pishach” Not Cruelty in Divorce Proceedings: Patna High Court

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The Patna High Court has ruled that using derogatory language like “bhoot” (ghost) and “pishach” (vampire) to refer to a partner in divorce proceedings does not constitute cruelty. The decision came in response to a petition filed by a father-son duo challenging a court order related to dowry harassment allegations.

The Patna High Court recently addressed a petition filed by Sahdeo Gupta and his son Naresh Kumar Gupta, residents of Bokaro, challenging a court order in Bihar’s Nalanda district. 

The court observed that referring to each other with derogatory names like “bhoot” and “pishach” did not amount to cruelty, despite allegations of physical and material torture for dowry.

Background:

– The petition stemmed from a complaint filed by Naresh Gupta’s divorced wife in 1994, accusing him and his father of dowry harassment.

– The case was transferred from Nawada to Nalanda upon the father-son duo’s request.

– They were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a year in 2008, which was upheld by the Additional Sessions Court 10 years later.

– Meanwhile, the couple was granted divorce by the Jharkhand High Court.

Court’s Decision:

– The divorced woman’s advocate argued that the derogatory language used by the in-laws constituted cruelty.

– However, the court disagreed, stating that such language was common in failed matrimonial relationships and did not necessarily constitute cruelty.

– While acknowledging the woman’s harassment and torture, the court found no specific allegations against either petitioner.

– The lower court judgments were quashed, with no costs imposed.

The ruling underscores the complexities of matrimonial disputes and the interpretation of cruelty in divorce proceedings. Despite derogatory language being used, the court emphasized the need for specific allegations to establish cruelty, highlighting the nuances of such cases.

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