Calling spouse 'bhoot', 'pishach' not cruelty: Patna HC

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Patna, Mar 30 (PTI) The Patna High Court has observed that the use of "filthy language" by an estranged couple, who call each other names like "bhoot" (ghost) and "pishach" (vampire), does not tantamount to "cruelty".


The remarks came from a single-judge bench of Justice Bibek Chaudhuri, who was hearing a petition filed by Sahdeo Gupta and his son Naresh Kumar Gupta, both residents of Bokaro in adjoining Jharkhand.

The father-son duo had challenged an order passed by courts in Bihar's Nalanda district, on a complaint filed by Naresh Gupta's divorced wife in Nawada, her native place.

The complainant had filed a case against her husband and father-in-law, way back in 1994, accusing them of physical and material torture to press for the demand for a car in dowry.


The case was later transferred to Nalanda from Nawada upon a prayer by the father-son duo, who ended up being slapped with rigorous imprisonment for a year, by the Chief Judicial Magistrate, in 2008 and their appeal before the Additional Sessions Court was rejected 10 years later.

In the meantime, the couple was granted divorce by the Jharkhand High Court.

Opposing the petition filed before the Patna High Court, the divorced woman’s advocate pleaded that "a lady, in the 21st century" was called "bhoot" and "pishach" by her in-laws, which was "a form of immense cruelty".


The court, however, observed that it was "not in a position to accept such an argument".

"In matrimonial relations, especially in failed matrimonial relations", there have been instances of "both the husband and the wife" having "abused each other" with "filthy language".

"However, all such accusations do not come within the veil of cruelty,” it said.

The high court also noted that she had been "harassed" and "brutally tortured" by "all the accused persons", but there were "no specific, distinct allegations against either petitioner".

The judgements passed by the lower courts were, accordingly, quashed though there was "no order as to costs". PTI NAC RBT