3 Jan 2023 8:33 AM GMT
The Delhi High Court has observed that the law does not permit a husband to take away the wife's household articles including jewellery without her consent and knowledge. Observing that no person can be allowed to take law in his own hands with an excuse that the parties are litigating, Justice Amit Mahajan observed:“Only because a complaint of wife in relation to istridhan is pending, does...
The Delhi High Court has observed that the law does not permit a husband to take away the wife's household articles including jewellery without her consent and knowledge.
Observing that no person can be allowed to take law in his own hands with an excuse that the parties are litigating, Justice Amit Mahajan observed:
“Only because a complaint of wife in relation to istridhan is pending, does not mean that the husband can be allowed to surreptitiously throw the wife out of the matrimonial house and take away the articles.”
The court made the observation while denying pre-arrest bail to a man in a complaint lodged by his wife alleging that her household articles were stolen while she was away from the house. The FIR was registered under Section 380 of Indian Penal Code, 1860.
The counsel representing the man told the court that he is married to the complainant and the FIR was registered due to a matrimonial discord. The court was informed that the house was on rent.
It was also argued before the court that the complainant wife had left the house on her own. His counsel further submitted that he was left with no other option but to surrender the tenancy of the house and therefore, the articles were removed.
The counsel representing the complainant submitted that she had gone to her parents' house for three days and when she returned, the place was found to be locked and the household articles were found to be stolen which led to filing of the complaint.
"The parties have been litigating and in order to pressurise the complainant, the applicant surreptitiously, in the absence of complainant, surrendered the flat to the landlord. The house was the matrimonial home and the complainant, in this manner, could not have been thrown out of the house," it was argued.
The counsel also submitted that the household articles including television, refrigerator, washing machine, laptop, cash, jewellery were purchased by the wife on her own and that the same have nothing to do with the litigation pending between the parties, which relates to istridhan.
The investigating officer apprised the court that the landlord in his statement has stated that the husband came to the house and took all the household articles. The IO also informed that statement of another witness was also recorded who admitted to have helped the husband in removing the articles from the house.
Noting that the husband surrendered the tenancy and removed the articles without informing the complainant wife, Justice Mahajan said:
“Even though the applicant is the husband of the complainant, the law does not permit even the husband to take the household articles including the jewellery in this manner.”
The court also noted that the wife specifically provided the bills in relation to the articles alleged to have been stolen, adding that the investigation in the matter is at a nascent stage.
The court also said the husband had not joined the investigation and the articles are yet to be recovered.
“In the facts of the present case, it cannot be said at this stage that the allegations made are frivolous or have only been made with the object to injure or humiliate the applicant by having him arrested. This Court finds no reason to grant pre-arrest bail to the applicant and the same is, accordingly, dismissed,” the court said.
Title: AKSHAY DHINGRA v. STATE (GOVT. OF NCT OF DELHI)
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Del) 3
Click Here To Read Order