Bihar Court Declares: Calling Wife ‘Bhoot-Pishach’ Not Cruelty in Failing Marriage

    A Patna court recently ruled that name-calling, even if it involves offensive terms like Bhoot-Pishach, does not constitute cruelty within a failing marriage. This decision came about in a case where a wife filed a complaint against her husband and father-in-law, alleging mental and physical abuse for not receiving a dowry in the form of a car.

    Dowry Dispute Turns into Abuse Allegations

    The wife claimed that her husband and father-in-law subjected her to mental and physical harassment because her family could not afford to give them a car as dowry. Dowry, the practice of giving gifts or money to the bride’s family, is illegal in India. However, the custom is still prevalent in many parts of the country and can lead to violence and abuse.

    Wife’s Bhoot-Pishach Claims Unsupported by Evidence

    The court, however, dismissed the wife’s allegations of cruelty due to lack of evidence. The judge pointed out that while the name-calling might be offensive, it did not qualify as cruelty within the legal definition of the term. The court also did not find any proof to support the claims of physical abuse.

    Ruling Sparks Debate on Cruelty in Marriage

    This judgment has sparked a debate about what constitutes cruelty within a marriage. Some legal experts believe that the ruling sets a dangerous precedent and could embolden abusers. They argue that emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse and should be taken into account by the courts.

    Dowry System Continues to Haunt India

    The case also highlights the ongoing issue of dowry in India. Despite being outlawed, the practice persists and can have devastating consequences for women. Activists have called for stricter enforcement of anti-dowry laws and a change in societal attitudes that perpetuate this harmful tradition.

    This court ruling is a complex issue with far-reaching implications. It raises important questions about the definition of cruelty in marriage and the role of the courts in protecting spouses from abuse. The decision is also a stark reminder of the enduring problem of dowry in India.



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