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Meera v/s State By Inspector Of Police Thiruvotriyur Police Station Chennai

In the aforementioned case, the supreme court observed that "how cruelty dedicated via one lady towards another girl ends in an extra critical offence". The court docket also upheld the conviction of mom-in-law underneath phase 498A of the Indian Penal Code. This opines how critical it is for a girl to stand for the rights of any other girl rather than workout cruelty on her. If human will now not stand for human beings then who will? This is where the essence of humanity lies.

The Supreme Court in addition stated that "Being a girl, the appellant, who turned into the mother-in-law, need to had been more sensitive vis-ą-vis her daughter-in-law. When an offence has been devoted by way of a lady by using meting out cruelty to every other lady, i.e., the daughter-in-law, it turns into a greater critical offence. If a lady, i.e., the mother-in-law herein does not shield any other girl, the other female, i.e., daughter-in-law could emerge as susceptible....", located a bench of Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna.

Name of the case: Meera v State By the Inspector of Police Thiruvotriyur Police Station Chennai (crook appeal no. 31 of 2022)

Bench: M.R. Shah, B.V. Nagarathna

Facts Of The Case:
A complaint was lodged through Ramathilagam, mother of the victim who accused her son-in-law , his mother-in-law , her daughter and father-in-law used to bother the deceased and additionally subjected her to cruelty/torture for need of jewels. Husband of the deceased used to live overseas. It changed into also alleged that the sufferer changed into immolated and turned into taken to the health facility where she succumbed to accidents. All the accused were charged for offences under sections 498A and 306 of IPC.

After investigations and examinations of sixteen witnesses, the Trials court acquitted the accused no. Four (the daddy-in-law) however convicted accused no. 1 to three for offences under sections 498A and 306 of IPC. Further appeal within the High Court was also dismissed and the order of trial court was upheld. Accused no. 2(mom-in-law), who felt aggrieved and dissatisfied with the aid of the High Court's judgment filled an appeal in the Supreme Court.

Claims by using the appellant ( submissions via shri. S Nagamuthu)
  • Senior propose shri.S Nagamuthu, on behalf of the appellant claimed that the trial court docket and high court docket had wrongly held the appellant guilty below section 498A. He submitted that accidents sustained by the sufferer had been of deep nature and he or she become no longer in role of creating any assertion.
  • He further stated that the deceased did not wanted her husband to head lower back to Saudi Arabia and quarreled with own family individuals for the same and committed suicide, home quarrel ought to not amount to harassment beneath phase 498A.
  • Shri S Nagamuthu also claimed that for the reason that appellant is 80 yr antique girl a lenient view may be considered even as imposing the sentence.
No one appeared on behalf of the respondent.

Judgment
In this case the appeal against the excessive court order was dismissed and the supreme court located that through the trial court and high court has proved and established that the deceased turned into a victim of torture and cruelty through the appellant (mother-in-regulation) with reference to jewels. The supreme court additionally stated that the findings with the aid of the subordinate courts must be appreciated and they rightly convicted the accused responsible of offences beneath section 498A of IPC.

Commenting at the some other appeal that the accused is eighty year old female and punishment given must be lenient. Supreme Court determined that during the proceedings inside the trial courtroom the accused became nearly sixty five years old after which the trial court sentenced her 1 year of imprisonment along with fine. This happened back then in 2006 but now for the reason that accused is eighty year old , Supreme Court decreased the sentence from three hundred and sixty five days to a few months together with the fine already imposed via the trial court.

Court stated that:
Being a lady, the appellant, who was the mother-in-law, ought to have been more sensitive vis-ą-vis her daughter-in-law. When an offence has been committed by a woman by meting out cruelty to another woman, i.e., the daughter-in-law, it becomes a more serious offence. If a lady, i.e., the mother-in-law herein does not protect another lady, the other lady, i.e., daughter-in-law would become vulnerable. In the present case, even the husband of the victim was staying abroad. The victim was staying all alone with her in-laws.

Therefore, it was the duty of the appellant, being the mother-in-law and her family to take care of her daughter-in-law, rather than harassing and/or torturing and/or meting out cruelty to her daughter-in-law regarding jewels or on other issues.

Sections referred
Section 498A IPC - [498A. Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty.-Whoever, being the husband or the relative of the husband of a woman, subjects such woman to cruelty shall be pun­ished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine.

Cruelty means:
  1. any wilful conduct which is of such a nature as is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health (whether mental or physical) of the woman; or
     
  2. harassment of the woman where such harassment is with a view to coercing her or any person related to her to meet any unlawful demand for any property or valuable security or is on account of failure by her or any person related to her to meet such demand.]
Section 306 IPC- Abetment of suicide.-If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Conclusion
As we observed that how the latest supreme court judgment followed a more liberal approach in cases related to cruelty by in-laws in an indian society. This fresh approach does not show any traces of patriarchy which has been prevalent in our society since ages. Its 21st century and there is no place for dated approaches and this recent case shows that how people have become aware of their rights and knows very well to fight for its violation.

An important issue raised in the judgment is that "women are women's worst enemies," but we cannot put everyone under the same umbrella. Whatever the situation is, one should not forget the principle of humanity as it is well said that " being human is given , but keeping our humanity is a choice". "Bhagavad Gita calls on humanity to dedicate body, mind and soul too pure duty and not to become mental voluptuaries at the mercy of random desires and undisciplined impulses."

" Education breeds confidence. confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace - Confucius" I agree to this quote and I think that education plays a very important role in making you fearless indirectly resulting in making you stand up for your own rights as in the above case the deceased's mother stood up for rights of her daughter.

I really appreciate the honorable Supreme Court for passing a judgment which will always be considered as a precedent in cases related to cruelty by in-laws. Judgment of this nature empowers society and this is a stepping stone for a greater change in the indian society. As we all know journey of thousand miles begins with a single step. This is a one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.

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