Sunday, February 20, 2011

Drinking and abusing wife amounts to cruelty: Bombay HC

Mumbai: The Bombay high court said consuming alcohol and abusing and beating one’s wife amounts to cruelty and could drive her to suicide and ordered Pune-based Ibrahim Nabi Sayyed to undergo three years’ rigorous imprisonment.
“The accused used to willfully consume alcohol and used to abuse and beat his wife regularly. Such conduct was likely to drive the wife to commit suicideand, therefore, he is guilty of subjecting his wife to cruelty,” said Justice J H Bhatia, dismissing Ibrahim’s appeal.
Ibrahim was convicted by a sessions court in 1993 under sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of IPC after his second wife Farida burnt herself to death.
Ibrahim was addicted to liquor and used to beat his first wife under the influence. He continued after his second marriage and Farida committed suicide three-and-a-half years after marriage.
After Farida, died of 100% burn injuries in 1991, Ibrahim had tried to pass it off as an accident. The court refused to buy the theory as police had found a kerosene can and match stick near her body. “If it is shown that a woman had committed suicide within seven years of marriage and her husband or his relatives had subjected her to cruelty, the court may presume that suicide had been abetted by them,” said the judgment.
Farida died of 100% burn injuries on September 1, 1991. Ibrahim had argued that Farida was injured in a fire which broke out at their residence following a short circuit. The court refused to buy the theory as the police had found a can of kerosene and match stick near Farida’s body. The couple had two children. The court also took on record evidence given by Ibrahim’s first wife, who said she too was regularly beaten up by him before he drove her out of their matrimonial house and divorced her.

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