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Mother-in-law harassment: Singh v Bhakar

Date:13 OCT 2006

John Rosley Rosleys Solicitors Nottingham Solicitor for the claimant. The case of Singh v Bhakar in which judgment was delivered in the Nottingham County Court on 24 July 2006 received a remarkable amount of national and international attention. The Recorder Timothy Scott QC in a reserved judgment running into 38 pages recognised the high emotion of the case and the element of campaigning for the benefit of others that at least partly motivated the claimant. Nevertheless it still came as something of a surprise to the claimant herself and the lawyers involved that the media were so fervent in the pursuit of the story.

The case represents an important step in the development of the statutory tort of harassment. In Singh v Bhakar the harassment constituted the deliberate abuse of a young Sikh woman (Gina) by her mother-in-law after Gina married into what she believed to be a modern and westernised Sikh family and joined her husband in his extended family home in London. Gina's case was not unusual nor was it at the extreme end of the spectrum when considering the level...

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