Talking sarcastically and taunting daughter-in-law is part of married life and cannot be a ground to seek custody of aged in-laws, a Mumbai court said while granting anticipatory bail to the in-laws accused of cruelty under Section 498A of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Court was hearing a plea by Ramesh and Malavicka Dalal (applicants) seeking anticipatory bail in relation to an FIR filed by their daughter-in-law alleging offences under Sections 498A (cruelty by in-laws), 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code against them and their son.
“Talking sarcastically and taunting to the first informant by the in-laws is the wear and tear of the married life, which every family witnesses. For those allegations, the custody of the applicants who are old, aged 80 years and 75 years respectively, is not required with the police,” the Court said.
Special POCSO Judge Madhuri Baraliya observed that apart from the offences alleged, “the rest of the allegations made in the FIR against the applicants are of general nature.”
The Court also noted that the complainant stayed with the applicants only for a very short period.
Further, the investigating agency had already frozen their accounts, investigation was ongoing and there was no necessity for continuous custody of applicants, the Court said.
The complainant, daughter-in-law, submitted that there was a probe pending against the applicants with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) which had frozen their accounts.
The Court, however, was not impressed by that line of argument since the present FIR was an independent crime.
The application was also opposed on the ground that Dalals may abscond from the jurisdiction of the court and move to Dubai where their son resides.
The Court, therefore, directed the applicants to surrender their passports to the police station while allowing them anticipatory bail.