Mere casual allegations are not sufficient to constitute an offence under S. 498-A IPC

Karnataka High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of K.N. Phaneendra, J., decided a criminal petition filed under Section 482 of CrPC, wherein the proceedings against the petitioner before the trial court under Section 498-A IPC and other sections were quashed.

The petitioner was the brother of Accused 1 and a co-accused in a criminal case under Section 498-A of IPC along with other sections. The deceased was the wife of Accused 1 who committed suicide allegedly due to harassment and demand of dowry by the family of Accused 1 which was mentioned in the suicide note. No specific acts were mentioned against the petitioner even in the said note except that he once abused the deceased. No allegation with regard to demand of dowry was attributable to the petitioner.

The Court considered whether the said allegation was sufficient to attract Section 498-A. After perusing the section, the Court was of the view that ‘wilful misconduct’ of the petitioner herein must have been of such a nature that was likely to drive a woman to commit suicide. It was also observed that in order to felicitate a person to commit suicide, there must be abetment thereof. The Court also perused Section 107 of IPC and observed that there must be some nexus between the abetment and the suicide caused as a result thereof. The Court found that in the instant case the nature of the act alleged against the petitioner was not such that would amount to willful misconduct that was likely to drive a woman to commit suicide; it seemed that the petitioner was arraigned as an accused to bring him to books only because he was related to Accused 1.

Since the allegations were not sufficient to constitute an offence under the said section, the proceedings against the petitioner were quashed. [Chethan v. State, Crl. Petition No. 5185 of 2017, order dated 7.2.2018]

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