Refusing to make tea for husband is not grave and sudden provocation: Bombay High Court upholds conviction of man, laments skewed patriarchy2 min read


The wife’s refusal to form a tea for her husband won’t amount to the grave and sudden provocation, the Bombay High Court recently ruled upholding the conviction of a person for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The man had inflicted an injury on his wife’s head with a hammer after she refused to make a tea for him. She had eventually died due to the injury.

Justice Revati Mohite Dere was hearing an appeal of a private convicted under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian legal code.

Frequent quarrels used to ensue between the appellant and his deceased wife on account of the previous suspecting her character. During one such argument, the wife has on the brink of leaving the house after refusing to make tea for the husband. This prompted him to strike her within the back of the top with a hammer. The couple’s six-year-old daughter witnessed the incident.

Soon after the assault, the appellant bathed his wife, wiped the bloodstains from the spot, and only then took her to the hospital. She was transferred to a special hospital while in critical condition and thereafter succumbed to her injuries.

Before the court, the appellant claimed that the act was committed by the sudden and grave provocation offered by the deceased and was culpable homicide not amounting to murder after she refused to make his tea. For this reason, it had been argued that his sentence should be reduced to the quantity already undergone.

The Court took a dim view of this argument, noting in its judgment, that it had been ludicrous and unsustainable. Though the court convicted the appellant, it discarded the testimony of the daughter as there was a delay of twelve days in recording her evidence.

After perusing the daughter’s cross-examination, Justice Dere noted that her evidence inspires confidence and can’t be disbelieved. Disagreeing with the finding on the delay in recording of evidence, Justice Dere sympathized with the trauma of the daughter who had to observe the events unfold before her.

After perusing the writ and thus the evidence on record, Justice Dere concluded that no interference was warranted. She also proceeded to make observations on how such cases of treating the wife like “chattel” showed the “skewed patriarchy” during a wedding. The Court proceeded to term it a medieval notion that’s nothing but patriarchal.

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