Woman Who Takes Valuables With Her On Separation Is Not Committing A Crime: Calcutta HC

New Delhi: The Calcutta High Court recently dismissed the criminal proceedings initiated against a woman by her husband. The man allegedly accused her of stealing gold ornaments and valuables from her matrimonial home.

Justice Shampa (Dutt) Paul observed that the ornaments, which the woman was accused of stealing were “worn by traditional Bengali married women on a regular basis.” The judge noted that the woman had left her matrimonial home after 29 years of marriage with one bala (bangle), one loha, a parr of pola covered with gold, a pair of sankhabadhano churi covered with gold (all of the above are marriage ornaments), two mobile phones, one gold chain, and one necklace. The woman had also taken her son along with her, Shethepeople reported.

The judge further explained that a Bengali married woman chooses to wear these ornaments since her marriage and the phones might be for her own use. Hence, it cannot be the basis of a criminal case, especially between a couple who have been married for 29 years. The court ruled that these allegations clearly do not make a case under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The petitioner (woman) had been married to the complainant since 1999, and due to “tremendous torture since marriage,” she lodged a complaint on May 14, 2019, at the Lake Police Station.

The petitioner submitted that her husband, a practising advocate at Alipoe Police Court, filed a case against her under Section 420 of the IPC for theft. She said that the husband initiated numerous “malicious” criminal proceedings against her and had even preferred an application under Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Proceedings but later withdrew it.

She also submitted an application for dissolution of marriage with the complainant, which was still pending because of her husband’s influence as a practising advocate. She said it was difficult to find legal representation for herself. In light of the findings, the court affirmed her right to legal representation and quashed the criminal case against her, the report added.


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