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This New Court Ruling On In-Law’s Taunts Normalises Mistreatment Of DILs

A recent ruling by a Sessions Court claiming in-laws' taunts are a part of daily life only goes on to show our regressive minsets.

A recent ruling by a Sessions Court claiming in-laws’ taunts are a part of daily life only goes on to show our regressive minsets.

According to a report in the Times of India, a Sessions Court granted anticipatory bail to a Malabar Hill couple accused of mistreatment by their daughter-in-law. The bail was granted after the Court observed, ‘Talking sarcastically and taunting by in-laws is part of the wear and tear of married life that every family witnesses.’

According to the report, a 30-year-old woman who got married in 2018 lodged a formal complaint against her in-laws. In her complaint, she alleged mistreatment and various other things that she underwent at the hands of her in-laws.

She stated that while living with her in-laws, she was exempted from doing the most basic things like using a refrigerator. The complaint also stated that she was given stale food to eat, asked to sleep in the living room and wasn’t permitted to visit her mother’s house.

She also stated that she and her family were kept in the dark about the identity of her husband’s biological parents. It was while getting documents ready for the wedding that they realised her husband was the biological son of her in-laws’ domestic help and that they’d adopted him.

The woman further said when she told her husband about her treatment by her in-laws, he simply asked her to comply with what his parents said. She also asserted that her in-laws and husband are in possession of the jewellery given to her by her parents.

Why were her complaints ‘general in nature’?

After being accused of the mistreatment, the in-laws and the advocate denied the allegations against them and claimed that both families had borne the expenses equally. They also stated that they were unaware of the FIR against them until their accounts were frozen.

Further, denying the accusations, the advocate stated that the woman was aware of the biological identity of her husband’s parents. They claimed that the woman stayed with her in-laws for only about 10 days after the wedding and also denied having her jewellery.

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Upon taking cognisance of the case, Special Judge Madhuri A Baraliya of the Sessions Court gave a ruling saying that the allegations are ‘general in nature.’ The ruling further stated, “Talking sarcastically to..and taunting the daughter-in-law by the in-laws is the wear and tear of married life, which every family witnesses.”

The in-laws were, then, granted anticipatory bail by the Sessions Court.

Why is ill-treatment by in-laws normalised in our society?

We might be stepping into a new year, but our society is still stuck in the past. Rulings like these simply affirm this fact. It is no secret that even today, daughters-in-law are mistreated and have to suffer at the hands of their in-laws.

Many daughters-in-law are taunted on their eating habits, weight and other life choices that they should be free to make. However, they are unfortunately conditioned to believe that they have to ‘adjust’ to the needs of their in-laws. Meanwhile, their partners are given a leeway on a lot of things.

This regressive mindset which normalises the mistreatment of daughters-in-law by disguising it as a ‘part and parcel of life’ is an unfortunate reality. One that, we, as a society need to banish as we enter a new year.

When women take a stand for themselves, it gives other women who might be suffering the same, hope that they do not need to suffer in silence. And that, they too can step forward and voice against the mistreatment inflicted upon them.

Picture credits: Photo by viresh studio from Pexels

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Aditi Singh Kaushik

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