Home Household chores Household chores, going to work not cruelty but part of woman’s responsibilities, Mumbai court says

Household chores, going to work not cruelty but part of woman’s responsibilities, Mumbai court says

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Doing household chores and going to work is not cruelty but part of responsibility, a Mumbai court has heard. The court said this in acquitting a 30-year-old man and his mother accused of abetting his wife’s suicide in 2015. The woman’s parents had filed a complaint for complicity in the suicide against the husband’s family.

During the hearing of the case, the court observed that waking up at 4 a.m. for household chores, then going to work and coming home and doing more chores, did not constitute cruelty but was part of of his responsibilities. The court said it was the responsibility of Priyanka Shelar, a cleaner who committed suicide at her employer’s home in Vidyavihar, to do household chores and earn a living.

“Therefore, asking Priyanka to do housework outside of her job would not constitute cruelty to Priyanka as alleged by the prosecution,” the court said.

The court said these things usually happened in the daily life of a low-level woman in the society to which Priyanka belonged. “There was no danger to Priyanka’s life when she was residing with the accused in one room. The insults, taunts and restrictions of such acts generally do not cause a person to commit suicide unless he there would be a persistent fight and mental torture with the criminal mind of the defendant to see that such acts would lead the victim to commit suicide,” the court said.

The court said the allegations against the husband’s family amounted to the daily wear and tear of family matters where a mother-in-law sometimes complains that her daughter-in-law is not working properly. “The factual circumstance cannot be called a cause of mental cruelty because it is a natural phenomenon and could be seen generally in that stature of the family to which both parties belonged,” the court said.

The court said there was no clear picture as to what prompted Priyanka to take her own life.

According to data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Maharashtra leads the country in terms of suicide due to marriage-related issues.