Even without adverting to her cross-examination, evidence of PW2 Chanda makes it crystal clear that accused had not subjected her to any ill-treatment for demanding money or amount of Rs.10,000/-. Her version shows that when she ultimately disclosed him that she is unable to bring the amount of Rs.10,000/-, her husband i.e. the accused had beaten her. The requirement of definition of cruelty found in explanation (b) to section 498A is harassment of a women with a view to coerce her or any person related to her to meet the unlawful demand of any property or valuable security. It is thus clear that there should be harassment or ill-
treatment of a married women in order to coercing her to apeal99-99 meet the unlawful demand by the husband or in-laws. In the case in hand, evidence of PW2 Chanda shows that her husband demanded an amount of Rs.10,000/- to her. She does not state that she was either coerced or harassed by her husband while demanding amount. On the contrary, she stated that when she disclosed to her husband that she is not in a position to bring that amount, her husband had beaten her. Except this, there is no material in chief-examination of PW2 Chanda to show that she was coerced, harassed ill-
treated or tortured by her husband while making demand of money from her. Alleged beating given by her husband, PW2 Chand, as seen from the from her evidence, is only once which has resulted in lodging report by her. Cruelty as envisaged in section 498A of the Indian Penal Code requires constant harassment and torture with some persistence, causing reasonable apprehension in the mind of the wife that living with her husband will be harmful or injurious to her.
This element is missing from the evidence of PW2 Chanda. As such, her evidence is not sufficient to infer the act of legal cruelty by the respondent / accused.
Bombay High Court
The State Of Maharashtra vs Chhagan Kanhu Bankar on 25 April, 2016
Bench: A.M. Badar
Citation:2016 ALLMR(cri) 5042