Madras High Court: V Bharathidasan, J., held that,
Mere harassment without any mens rea which lead to the suicide would not amount to an offence under Section 306 Penal Code, 1860.
Petitioner, sole accused was charged for an offence under Section 306 of the Penal Code, 1860 sought to quash criminal proceedings.
Deceased, son of the second respondent was working in a private courier company with the petitioner/accused. Deceased borrowed the petitioner’s car and went to Puducherry, while he was returning back, the car met with an accident. Later, the deceased got the car repaired and handed it over to the petitioner/accused.
On not being satisfied with the repair, the petitioner/accused insisted the deceased get the car properly repaired.
In view of the above, the deceased committed suicide by hanging in his friend’s house and left two suicide notes alleging that due to the harassment of the petitioner he was committing suicide. Subsequently, the mother of the deceased filed a complaint.
Analysis, Law and Decision
High Court noted that the allegation against the petitioner was that, the deceased borrowed the petitioner’s car to go to Puducherry and on his way back, the car met with an accident, which was not properly repaired, which ultimately led the deceased committing suicide.
Bench on perusal of the suicide notes found no offence, much less an offence under Section 306 IPC was made out. In the suicide notes, there was nothing to suggest that the petitioner instigated the deceased to commit suicide. To bring the case within the ambit of Section 306 IPC, there must be materials to show that, the persons who is stated to have abetted the commission of suicide played an active role in instigating and facilitating the commission of suicide.
In the present matter, materials on record do not indicate that the petitioner intentionally abetted the deceased to commit suicide, and no prima facie offence under Section 306 IPC was made out.
Therefore, the criminal proceedings were liable to be quashed. [M. Maryson v. State, 2021 SCC OnLine Mad 5993, decided on 25-11-2021]
Advocates before the Court:
For Petitioner: Mr. R. Rajarathinam
For Respondent 1: Mr. C.E. Pratap, Government Advocate (Crl. Side)
For Respondent 2: No appearance