Thane: It could be cool in a Bollywood song, but the use of the Hindi word “chammak chhallo” in real life can land you in legal trouble – as a man in Thane found out.
PTI reported that a magistrate court in Thane last week sentenced a city resident to simple imprisonment “till the court rises” for and imposed a fine of Rs 1 on him for using the word on a woman in his neighbourhood.
The court has held that the use of the word amounts to “insulting a woman’s modesty”.
According to the woman’s complaint, on January 9, 2009, while returning from a morning walk with her husband, 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 “chammak chhallo”.
The term “chammak challo”- of Punjabi origin – is slang for a sexy woman and was made famous by a song of that name in the Shahrukh Khan starrer Ra.One. Clearly, the song was not the inspiration in this incidents as the film was released two years later.
Finding it very offensive, she first approached police, and when they refused to register a complaint, 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 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 was quoted as saying in his ruling.
(With PTI inputs)