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Saas wins against bahu

Posted by iluvshrutiverma on November 6, 2009



– Court orders police to help old woman move back into usurped address
Uma Dutta in her rented Patuli house. (Sanat Kr Sinha)

An elderly woman tortured and driven out of the house that her husband had built for her has found justice after a four-year court battle against her daughter-in-law.

Tears welled up in 71-year-old Uma Dutta’s eyes after an Alipore court ruled last Friday that she and her son Pratik were the rightful owners of the two-storeyed Garfa North Lake Road property usurped by bahu Runa Paul, 32.

The court asked Kasba police station to file a report on Uma’s allegations about political interference and police laxity by November 30 and also “maintain close vigil to ensure that the petitioner can live in the property peacefully”.

For retired railway pensioner Uma, the verdict was much more than just getting her Kasba house back from the clutches of her daughter-in-law who apparently has quite a track record of marriage-and-dupe.

“She (Runa) and her friends in the CPM had tied me to a chair and assaulted me when I refused to transfer the house in her name on July 25, 2005. They kept me without proper food and medicines for six days. I survived on puffed rice and water,” recalled Uma, who suffers from multiple ailments.

Son Pratik, who has a law degree but no regular source of income, sided with his mother after learning that Runa was thrice married before they met. “She had harassed and duped her previous in-laws, too,” said Uma’s lawyer Dipit Bose. Only one of Runa’s earlier marriages was registered, the lawyer added.

Runa and Pratik married in October 2003 and she allegedly started demanding Rs 6 lakh to open a pharmacy within three months of the wedding.

“She would turn violent when my son and I stood up to her. She got some local CPM leaders to intimidate us. When we decided to go to the police, the CPM activists threatened to frame us in a robbery case. Runa then threatened to slap a case under 498A of the IPC (torture for dowry) against me and my son,” said Uma.

A former office superintendent with the railways, Uma and her son have been living in a rented Patuli house since leaving their Garfa home. Runa has rented out a part of the two-storeyed house and occupied the remaining portion along with her extended family.

The inspector-in-charge of Kasba police station, Shankar Prasad Biswas, said he could act against Runa only after receiving a copy of the court order.

Runa was unavailable for comment. When Metro visited the Garfa house, nobody answered the doorbell. Neighbours have nailed a board to a wall of the house, warning prospective property buyers against dealing with Runa.

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