The Bombay High Court today observed that asking a woman to cook properly or do household work does not amount to ill-treatment. The court gave out the judgement while upholding the acquittal of a Sangli resident who was accused of abetting the suicide of his wife 17 years ago. According to the complaint made by the wife’s parents, the accused and his parents often scolded her for not cooking properly or looking after the household.
According to TOI, Justice Sarang Kotwal said, “Telling the deceased to cook properly or to do her household work properly, by itself, would not mean that she was ill-treated. There is no further evidence to show that the treatment was of such a nature which would fall under harassment or abetment of suicide sections of the IPC.”
The judge also said that the prosecution had no other evidence to prove that the woman was in an illicit relationship. The court also pointed out that filing the complaint might be “an afterthought” as it was lodged a day after the death.
“The prosecution has not examined any other family member who could have thrown light on this aspect. In fact, these allegations do not travel beyond the realm of suspicion and therefore, none of the accused can be held responsible for the same,” said the judge.
Accused and the deceased married in 1998. As per the complaint, the woman often had the issues over her husband and in-laws scolding her for not cooking properly or looking after household chores.
Reportedly, the deceased’s grandfather and maternal cousin had visited her just before she killed herself on June 5, 2001. They witnessed the couple fighting and were later informed that the woman had consumed poison.
However, multiple cases of women being tortured to death over cooking have been reported in the past. Last month, an angry alcoholic husband allegedly shot his wife dead in Shahjahanpur (Uttar Pradesh) after she refused to cook him an egg curry. 33-year-old Navneet Shukla asked his wife to cook the dish, but she denied as it was a Thursday, reported TOI.
A similar incident was reported in Indore where a driver was arrested for killing his wife after a dispute over cooking mutton. According to a report in TOI, the driver Chintu brought mutton, but his wife didn’t prepare it. This made him angry and in a fit of rage, he killed his wife.