New Delhi: As the outcome of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections reverberated across India, social media platforms became inundated with cartoons and memes reflecting the shifting political landscape. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which secured a resounding victory in 2019, experienced a significant setback this time around, with its seat tally plummeting from 303 to 240, according to data released by the Election Commission.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) also witnessed a decline, securing 292 seats compared to the 353 seats it clinched in the previous general elections. Conversely, the Congress party saw a notable improvement, winning 99 seats as opposed to 52 in 2019. The combined opposition, the INDIA bloc, managed to secure 232 seats.

With the BJP falling short of a majority on its own, it now seeks the support of its allies to form the government. Crucially, the Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) emerged as a key ally for the BJP by securing 12 seats.

Social media users wasted no time in expressing their opinions and reactions through a plethora of cartoons and memes. These ranged from humorous takes on the BJP's diminished seat count to commentary on the resurgence of the opposition.

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Mumbai, Jul 22: Allegations of ill-treatment by a man against his own family members do not fall under the ambit of cruelty against a woman in her matrimonial home, the Bombay High Court has said.

The HC made the observation in an order dated July 18, a copy of which was made available on Monday, while quashing a March 2013 FIR (first information report) lodged by a woman against her parents-in-law, brother and sisters-in-law -- residents of Mumbai -- alleging cruelty and harassment.

A division bench, in the order, noted that peculiarly the woman did not make any allegations against her husband, and described the entire case as nothing but a "complete abuse of the process of law" and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) section related to cruelty to women in matrimonial home.

The bench of Justices A S Gadkari and Neela Gokhale maintained the FIR was a "proxy litigation" lodged by the man through his wife against his own family members to settle a property dispute.

The court noted this was a "peculiar case" where the woman has alleged her in-laws of committing an offence under section 498A of the IPC without a single allegation against her husband.

Section 498A pertains to harassment of a woman by her husband or any relative of the husband.

The court, in its order, said the allegations of harassment and cruelty made by the woman against the petitioners are "quite general and vague".

"Undoubtedly, she (complainant woman) has given a list of incidents of cruelty in the FIR. However, the instances are also of a nature that do not fulfil the ingredients of section 498(A) of the IPC," the HC observed.

Some of the alleged ill-treatment is aimed against the husband and not even the complainant herself, the bench pointed out.

"Allegations of ill-treatment by a man against his own family members do not fall within the scope and ambit of section 498(A) of the IPC," the court clarified.

The woman, in her complaint, had alleged her in-laws used to pick fights with her husband on petty issues to drive him and her out of the house.

She further claimed her in-laws did not allow her to use their kitchen appliances, barred her from accessing their residence's terrace and garden, and would ask the domestic help not to do her household work.

The court said the present case was a "complete abuse of the process of law."

"The FIR is nothing but a shot fired by the man from his wife's shoulder to espouse his own cause of his interest in his father's property. We, thus, have no hesitation in holding that the FIR is filed with an ulterior motive for wreaking personal vengeance on the petitioners," it maintained.

The judges were critical of the gross abuse of IPC section 498A.

"The police machinery has been used for realizing private interest of the complainant and her husband. The present case is a classic example of gross abuse of section 498(A) of the IPC," the bench noted.

"Surprisingly, these allegations against the petitioners (in-laws) are made by the complainant-wife at the behest of her own husband. Although Section 498A envisages cruelty inflicted upon a woman by a relative of the husband, it is rare to see such allegations aimed at the relatives dehors (without) any accusation against the husband," the court observed.

The petitioners' advocate had claimed the FIR was an outcome of a property dispute among the family members.

The court pointed out that the history of civil litigation between the couple and the man's family demonstrates his personal interest in settling scores in respect of a property.