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Can my boyfriend file case against me on the basis of mental harassment?

By Shivendra Pratap Singh

I had been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 2 years. When he went to England for an assignment our relationship gradually diminished. Now I have married and living with my husband. My ex-boyfriends threatening me and my husband that he will file a criminal case against me. He is mentally disturbed after hearing that I have been married. I know that he is doing all such things in frustration but I want to know whether he has any right to file a criminal case against me?

Question from: Manipur

Breaking the relationship and married to another person is not a criminal act. You, as an adult person, are free to choose your life partner. When you decided to marry a particular person then he cannot interfere with taking such a decision. So that you have not committed any crime. Hence, your ex-boyfriend cannot file any criminal case against you.

Whereas, he is committing a crime by giving such threats. Threatening to file a false criminal case is an offence. He wants to injure your reputation in society by lodging a false FIR. Since he has such a criminal intention so he committed the offence of criminal intimidation. 

Register a complaint

You should register a complaint against him under section 506 Indian Penal Code (IPC). Criminal intimidation is a punishable act under section 506 of the IPC. If you have any proof like messages, call records etc then collect them and annexed with the complaint. The Magistrate requires some prima facie evidence to take cognisance and to issue a warrant or summon against the accused.

Mental harassment

You were in a relationship with your free consent. He went to England thereby your friendship came to end. In the meantime, you married to another person. He could not ready to accept the reality and languishing in mental pain. 

However, he can assume that you are responsible for all these things but you have not committed any wrong. The wrong assumption of grief does not form a basis of mental harassment. A person is guilty of causing mental harassment when he does so intentionally. 

You have solemnised marriage with your choice and it is your fundamental right. Exercise of such a right does not form the basis of a criminal proceeding for mental harassment. He cannot hold you responsible for breaking the relationship. You should avoid all these things and lodge a complaint against him. 

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