The Telegraph
Tuesday , March 8 , 2011
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jilted husband plans wife tit-for-tat

New Delhi, March 7: If law doesn’t punish, slander will.

An insurance agent allegedly cheated and dumped by his wife of 13 years has hit back by hiring a public relations agency in an attempt to blunt the immunity that she enjoys under the law from being prosecuted for adultery.

Inderjeet Singh, whose banker-wife Seema allegedly had an affair with a colleague and filed a domestic violence case against her husband when he pursued an adultery case against her lover, has no qualms about washing his dirty linen in public.

“I want to avenge the humiliation I suffered at the hands of my wife and that’s why I approached a PR agency last month. Since the law is in her favour, I want her lover to pay the price for ruining my marriage. I have moved court against him,” said the 42-year-old father of two who has hired the agency to publicise his case.

Asked how much he had paid to the agency, Inderjeet refused to divulge the sum and suggested money was not a factor. “Money is not important to me now. I want to take revenge for my sufferings,” he said.

A senior Delhi police officer said he could not recall a case where a jilted husband had hired a PR agency for a campaign against his estranged wife. By doing so, Inderjeet is trying to blunt a legal shield women have in adultery cases.

The provision is contained in Section 497 of the IPC. “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery.”

This means the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor and the husband can only go as far as lodging a case against her paramour. If he is convicted, the maximum punishment is five years with a penalty, or both.

Inderjeet has sued Ashok Kumar Singh, Seema’s colleague and chief manager of the State Bank of India branch where the two worked. Inderjeet claimed they had been having an affair for the past 18 months. This January, a city court named Ashok as an “accused” and has asked him to appear on August 23. The order came after Inderjeet furnished his wife’s call records and details of a resort in Lucknow where Seema and Ashok allegedly stayed as husband and wife last year. He backed these with copies of air tickets.

In his complaint, he has told the court that he had confronted his wife and Ashok after learning about their escapades and pleaded before them to call off their relationship saying “their act would spoil the future of his children”. The request went unheeded and last March, Seema left her husband’s Naraina Vihar home along with the two kids. Since then, she has been staying in a flat in Rohini, more than 20km away.

Within weeks of moving out, Seema filed a case under the Domestic Violence Act against Inderjeet, allegedly at Ashok’s behest, along with a complaint in Delhi police’s women cell. She then filed a divorce case in another court.

“I have been through a lot of pain and harassment after my wife lodged a complaint with police. I was called several times where police interrogated me for without any fault of mine. I showed all the documents then they realised that I was a victim and had been implicated in a false case,” Inderjeet said.

The adultery case against Ashok followed a legal notice sent by Inderjeet asking him to not have any relations with Seema. “After going through the allegations and material available on record, prima facie, a case under Section 497 is made out against the accused (Ashok),” magistrate Deepak Wason said in his order of January 19 this year.

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