Kind-hearted kicks

Sans comment — because the immense wtf-ness needs to be savored without extraneous asides:

A husband and his relatives cannot be prosecuted for “cruelty” towards wife merely because the mother-in-law or other family members

had kicked her or for that matter threatened her with divorce, the Supreme Court has held.

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12 thoughts on “Kind-hearted kicks

  1. I think you missed the point of the judgement. It indicates that “kicking” probably should be treated as a case of assault rather than “cruelty”. The judgement was more an interpretation of what consitutes cruelty pertaining to indian laws.

    • Aah, okay. If that be so, makes some sense than before. The article did not really say anything about the assault interpretation.

      • How many laws do you need to punish assault?? What the SC is trying to say is that there explicit laws which govern this. The cruelty law was passed for instances which are not covered under the regular law. For instance denying food to the daughter in law etc for dowry. There is no law per se which can treat this adequately.

        • Okay, here’s the deal: laws are as much about context as they are about the actions themselves.

          There is no doubt in your mind that the kick in this context is an act of deliberate cruelty, right? A woman marries, she exchanges her birth family for that of her husband — to then be physically abused is to endure more than the physical pain of the kick or punch or whatever, there is also the mental agony attached. With me so far?

          So it happens; she is kicked. A case finally comes up in court — and the lawyer for the man and his family argues that since the kick is explicitly not part of the cruelty-related laws, any discussion of that in context of this case is irrelevant. Yes your honor, he and his mother and father and maid servant all kicked her, but that is another case, let the police bring it and we will answer it there, is his argument.

          So what then is the legal leg this hypothetical bride stands on? She is seeking to separate from him because of the cruelty — but lo, none of what she endured is “cruelty”. What then?

          Arising from which, this — why does a kick have to be labelled ‘assault’, but expressly *not” cruelty? Would a far more logical, and legally tenable, verdict be to suggest that the man is guilty of cruelty, aggravated by the act of assault? “Aggravating circumstances” is a phrase I became familiar with in my teens through Perry Mason; I subsequently found out it wasn’t a creation of Erle Stanley Gardner, but a fact of jurisprudence.

          • It is a question o technicality. The case should be filed under various sections covering the various forms of abuse. you cannot use file a case under a section that does not address the specific issue on hand.

            The lawyer goofed up – IMO.

            • Prove that the person guilty of assault, then use that as an aggravating circumstantial evidence of cruelty.

              • Good point Kalki. Cruelty needs to be established over multiple incidents /period of time. Cruelty cannot apply to one incident. Going over the TOI report again it seems to talk about one incident.
                Cruelty itself does not constitute a crime. It can be an aggravating circumstance in a crime.

                The only thing funny about this discussion is that we are basing the discussion on a TOI report.

  2. Another one you can add to the wtf laws of countries in your “When in Rome..” post.

    The way I understood it (apparently, wrongly) till now was that one has no right whatsoever over another human being to inflict any kind of physical/mental harassment. That she is your mother-in-law or your second cousin, is not the point at all. Just because you have a “legal” relationship to a person it does not make the nature of the offense any different at all. It is the same as if a goon on the street does that to me.

    Another thing that baffles me is that the SC, no less, should have said it. I can’t help but wonder how many more such judgments based on one’s skewed perception of what is “right” and what is “wrong” cant happen by such eminent judges.

  3. Has today been declared a WTF day. This is the third post and the WTFness barometer is being set high with each post 🙂

    • *grin* the law of unintended consequences. Busy day at work. No time for quality reading — and wtf rises to the surface of random browsing. Like pond scum. 🙂

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