PANAJI: In a case of a wife's prosecution by her husband for the bouncing of a Rs 12,264 cheque issued by her before they started living separately, the high court of Bombay at Goa has upheld the acquittal of the wife by a trial court as the parties are governed by the law of communion of properties when their marriage is subsisting.
The complainant's case was that in July 2006 he had given his wife, an insurance agent, an amount of Rs 12,264. This amount was given to enable her to obtain an insurance policy for the complainant as she fell short of fulfilling her target of policies. However, the wife did not obtain the policy for her husband. Subsequently, instead of returning the cash she gave her husband a cheque of the same amount. Later, she went to reside at her mother's place from November 2006 and started living separately.
In order to recover the amount, the husband deposited the cheque in a bank, but the same was not honoured due to insufficiency of funds in the wife's account.
The husband then filed a complaint against his wife before a magistrate.. However, the magistrate exonerated the drawer of the cheque as the husband could not prove her liabilty. This order was challenged by the complainant before the high court.
Referring to Article 1108 of the Civil Code, 1867, which provides that the marriage consists in the communion between the spouses of all their properties, Justice N A Britto, observed thus: "When the complainant stated that he gave Rs 12,264 to the accused to obtain an insurance policy for him, the complainant gave the money which also belonged to the accused, that is, the money which was the property of the couple in which the accused would have half share. The complainant did not give it ( money) to the accused as a debt to be repaid."
The court further held that communion ends by the dissolution of the marriage or by separation in accordance with law. Till date, the complainant and the accused, who are not officially separated, were living separately from November,2006, the court pointed out, and observed that the money was given by the complainant to the accused in July 2006 when they were living together as husband and wife.