Man Fined Re 1 For Calling Woman Chhammak Chhallo

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Thane: Many of you must have often hummed the popular song ‘chhammak challo’ from the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer movie Ra.One.  A court in Thane has now said that the word ‘chhammak challo’ amounts to “insulting a woman’s modesty”. A magistrate last week sentenced a Thane resident to simple imprisonment “till the court rises” for the offence and imposed a fine of Re 1 on him.

The Thane court made the observation while hearing a woman’s complaint, who was a neighbour of the accused.  According to her complaint, while returning from a morning walk with her husband on January 9, 2009, she stumbled on a garbage bin which the accused had kept on the staircase.

The accused yelled at the couple, and, among other things, called the woman “chhammak chhallo”. The woman found the word offensive and approached the police. The police, however, refused to register her complaint, following which she moved the court.

Eight years later, Judicial Magistrate R T Ingale upheld her case, saying that the accused had indeed committed an offence under section 509 of IPC (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman).

“It is a Hindi word. There is no word for it in English,” the court observed.  “The said word is to be understood in the Indian society by its use. Generally this word is used to insult a woman. It is not a word for appreciating… it causes irritation and anger to any woman,” the magistrate said in his order.

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