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A magistrate’s court of Thane has sentenced a city resident to simple imprisonment “till the court rose” for the offence and imposed a penalty of Re 1 on him for using the word ‘chammak challo’, the Hindustan Times reported. The court said that using the word on a woman amounts to “insulting her modesty”.

One of the accused’s neighbours had appealed to the court.

According to the woman’s complaint, on 9 January 2009, while returning from a morning walk with her husband, she had 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 “chammak chhallo”.

The woman was offended by those remarks and decided to file a complaint with the police. The police were hesitant to register a FIR. Thus, she decided on moving the court.

Eight years later, Judicial Magistrate RT Ingale upheld her case, saying 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 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 reportedly said in his order.

The term “chammak challo” – of Punjabi origin – is a slang for a sexy woman and was made famous in the recent past by a song of that name in the Shahrukh Khan starer Ra.One.

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Editor : Arunima Bhattacharya Bhattacharya