Refusal by wife to make tea not grave provocation, says Bombay HC; upholds conviction of man | Mumbai News – Times of India

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MUMBAI: Upholding a 2016 conviction of a man for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in a Pandharpur case Bombay high court said his wife refusing to make tea for him, “by no stretch of imagination, can be said to have offered grave and sudden provocation for the appellant to assault her, much less, such a brutal assault.”
On the fateful day “ on being refused tea,” the man assaulted his wife with a hammer. In 2016 a trial court in Pandharpur sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment for having knowledge that his act could cause her death.
He appealed from jail. Justice Revati Mohite Dere found no merit in his appeal against conviction. She said instead, “It would not be out of place to observe that a wife is not a chattel or an object. Marriage ideally is a partnership based on equality. More often than not, it is far from that. Cases such as these, are not uncommon. Such cases, reflect the imbalance of gender – skewed patriarchy, the socio-cultural milieu one has grown up in, which often seeps into a marital relationship.”
The HC said “This medieval notion of the wife being the property of the husband to do as he wishes, unfortunately, still persists in the majority mindset. Nothing but notions of patriarchy. “
The HC judgment of February 2 added, “There is imbalance of gender roles, where wife as a homemaker is expected to do all the household chores. Emotional labour in a marriage is also expected to be done by the wife. Coupled with these imbalances in the equation, is the imbalance of expectation and subjugation. Social conditions of women also make them handover themselves to their spouses. Thus, men, in such cases, consider themselves as primary partners and their wives, `chattel’. “
The HC also cited and quoted from a study The Man Who Mistook His Wife For Chattel’ by Margo Wilson and Martin Daly:
“by `proprietary’, we mean first that men lay claim to particular women as songbirds lay claim to territories, as lions lay claim to a kill, or as people of both sexes lay claim to valuables. Having located an individually recognizable and potentially defensible resource packet, the proprietary creature proceeds to advertise and exercise the intention of defending it from rivals.
The quote goes on to say, “Proprietariness has the further implication, possibly peculiar to the human case, of a sense of right or entitlement”.
Thus, the HC said his lawyer’s submission of that the wife by refusing to make tea for the appellant offered grave and sudden provocation, “is ludicrous, clearly untenable and unsustainable and as such deserves to be rejected.” In the facts, the appellant not only assaulted his wife, but also after assaulting her, wasted precious and crucial time i.e. around one hour, in covering his act by destroying evidence, by wiping the blood from the spot and bathing her before taking her to the hospital.
If he had rushed her to the hospital, soon after the incident, possibly her life could have been saved said the HC.



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