In a landmark judgment, a British court has ordered a Non Resident Indian woman to pay $65,000 as compensation to her daughter-in-law for subjecting her to bullying and humiliation.
26-year-old Gina Satvir Singh told the Nottingham County Court that she was bullied, isolated and became seriously ill after entering into an arranged Sikh marriage.
She sued her former mother-in-law, Dalbir Kaur Bhakar, who imposed a 17-hour daily regime of housework, forced her to bleach her skin and cut her hair and severely restricted contact with her family.
Singh was forbidden to leave the house alone and was not allowed to listen to the radio, read newspapers or watch television.
Her isolation was such that when she fled the marital home in March 2003 Singh knew nothing about the imminent invasion of Iraq.
Singh sued her former mother-in-law under Britain's Protection of Harassment Act, claiming she suffered months of abuse following her wedding to Hardeep Bhakar in November 2002.
Passing the judgment on Monday at the Court, in east central England, Timothy Scott, QC, the Recorder, said: "The course of conduct towards Gina was not merely negligent, or even reckless, but deliberate.
She was utterly miserable and wretched during those four months, and was suffering from what was for her an incomprehensible personal attack."
The Court heard how Singh's life fell apart four years ago after her arranged marriage to Bhakar, now 29.