Bombay High Court: V.M. Deshpande, J., held that merely drinking can never be an abetment for a person to commit suicide.
The decision of Additional Sessions Judge, wherein the appellant was convicted for an offence punishable under Section 305 of the Penal Code, 1860.
It has been stated that charge was framed for the offence punishable under Section 306 IPC, appellant denied the charge. During the investigation, a suicide note was also found. During the trial, the charge was altered for the offence punishable under Section 305 IPC in view of the deceased being 16 years of age at the commission of suicide.
In the present matter, it was alleged that the appellant who was the father of deceased was a drunkard and under the influence, of liquor he used to take up quarrels with his wife and maltreat his three progeny
Question for consideration:
Whether the appellant was responsible and/or has abetted commission of suicide of deceased Pavan?
Analysis, Law and Decision
In view of the circumstances and facts of the case, Bench stated that the only difference between Section 305 and 306 of IPC is that Section 305 is a punishing section for abetting an insane or a child whereas Section 306 IPC is a punishing section for the accused who abetted any other person to commit suicide.
In the Court’s opinion, parameters for deciding the fact under Sections 305 and 306 IPC are identical.
Bench noted that the prosecution’s case was that the deceased used to prosecute his studies, there was nothing on record to show that at any point of time, the deceased was declared unsuccessful in any of his academic years.
Different persons may react differently to the same situation.
Further, the Court added that merely because the deceased by writing a note mentioning about the drinking habit of his father and committed suicide, cannot be treated as an abetment, especially when the prosecution evidence could not show that there used to be ill-treatment at the hands of the appellant under the influence of liquor to the deceased so as to drive the deceased to take the extreme step of his life.
Hence, the High Court held that the Lower Court’s Judge swayed away with the fact that the deceased boy committed suicide for an admitted position that the appellant was a drunkard.
Therefore the present appeal was allowed. [Ramrao Kisan Rathod v. State of Maharashtra, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 29, decided on 04-01-2020]
Advocates who appeared in the case:
S.D. Chande, Advocate for the appellant
V.A. Thakare, A.P.P. for respondent