Allahabad High Court: Dinesh Kumar Singh-I, J., while discussing abetment of suicide, stated that:
“…if some act either of omission or commission results in instigation to the victim to commit suicide, that act would also be treated to be an abetment.”
Factual Background of a Woman Subjected to Torture in demand of Dowry
Informant stated that his daughter was married with accused-applicant 1 in accordance with the Hindu rites and as per demands, dowry was provided. At the time of marriage, the applicant 1 (husband), applicant 2, Om Prakash Mishra (father-in-law), applicant 3, Rakesh Mishra, (brother-in-law) started demanding four-wheeler as additional dowry because of which ‘Bidai’ of his daughter could be done.
After a lot of persuasion, the Gauna was performed and when her daughter (deceased) went to her matrimonial home, all the accused-applicants started making taunts that marriage was performed for very cheap, further it was made clear to the deceased that unless the amount asked for is fulfilled, it would be difficult for her to live in matrimonial home peacefully.
Mental and Physical Harassment
Victim was harassed mentally and physically on various occasions, she was pressurized to give her jewellery to which she refused and was beaten up by banging her head against the wall and subjected to filthy language and threat of divorce.
Victim’s husband used to increase the volume of the T.V and close the door of the house so that screaming or weeping of the deceased would not go out, even the family members of the accused-applicant 1 used to call the victim and harass her on the phone.
Accused-Applicant 1 later, dropped the deceased near the house of the informant retaining the jewellery at his home and further filed for divorce.
Later it was stated that, since the informant’s daughter used stay disturbed mentally because of the case having been filed against her and having received notices from the Court, she used to say that despite having been tortured, she could not get any case registered against the persons of her sasural and was passing time with her child in her parents’ home and even then, she was not being allowed to remain peacefully and in these circumstances after getting fed-up, on 23-10-2017 she committed suicide by hanging herself by a stole from the ceiling fan, for which the accused- applicants are responsible.
Analysis of the Bench
The above-stated circumstances could be treated to have been driven the deceased to commit suicide which could have taken to fall in the category of abetting the commission of suicide by the deceased.
Court expressed that:
Merely because the deceased died at the parent’s house, is being hammered as the main argument on the part of the applicant, to be the reason why abetment to commit suicide should not be taken to be established in this case even prima-facie.
Bench relied upon the Supreme Court’s decision in Guru Charan Singh v. State of Punjab, (2020) 10 SCC 200, wherein it was held that in order to give finding of abetment under Section 107, which is necessary to sustain the conviction of abetment of suicide under Section 306 IPC, it must be established that the accused instigated a person either by an act of omission or commission or by persistent cruelty or harassment.
Circumstances or atmosphere in the matrimonial home without the instigation of suicide being established in someway are not enough to sustain the conviction on abetment of suicide.
In the instant case, Court noted that it came on record that various litigations had been thrust upon the deceased from the side of the accused-applicants which might have generated a situation in which deceased found no way out but to commit suicide.
Bench stated that it may tour out to be not finally proved that the applicants were involved in the commission of this offence but in proceedings under Section 482 CrPC:
this Court cannot give finding in this regard as the evidence, which is likely to be recorded before the trial court, the said evidence would be appreciated by the said court then only finding can be returned on this point.
While dismissing the application, Court held that if the applicants appear and surrender before the Court below within 30 days and apply for bail, then the bail application would be considered and decided in view of the law laid down by this Court in Amrawati v. State of U.P.,2004 (57) ALR 290, as well as a judgment passed by Supreme Court in Lal Kamlendra Pratap Singh v State of U.P., (2009) 4 SCC 437.
In case, the applicants do not appear before the Court below within 30 days period, coercive action shall be taken against them. [Kranti Mishra v. State of U.P., 2021 SCC OnLine All 81, decided on 22-01-2021]
Advocates for the parties:
Counsel for Applicant: Shailesh Kumar Shukla, Rajiv Lochan Shukla
Counsel for Opposite Party: G.A., Akhilesh Kumar