Bombay High Court: Division Bench of M.S. Sonal and Pushpa V. Ganediwala, JJ., quashed the charges of abetment of suicide and other offences under IPC against the applicants, on finding that no purpose would be served in continuing criminal proceedings against them.
In the present matter, applicants sought quashing of FIR registered for the offences punishable under Sections 498-A, 306, 323, 504 and 506 of the Penal Code, 1860. This Court issued notice and directed that though the investigation shall be carried on, no charge sheet shall be filed without obtaining leave of this Court.
Applicants 1 to 3 are the relatives of the applicant-husband. Allegations against these applicants was that the said persons were supporting the applicant husband. There were absolutely no specific allegations against the said applicants about their role in the abetment of suicide by the deceased.
Mother of the deceased on whose complaint crime came to be registered now stated that she had lodged the report under rage without giving proper thought to the factual situation.
In the FIR, it was alleged that the applicant-husband of the deceased was having extramarital affair with some other girl, due to which the deceased was undergoing physical and mental harassment at the hands of her husband and relatives, which culminated in her suicide.
Analysis, Law and Decision
High Court in view of the nature of allegations called upon the police investigation papers/charge sheet.
Report of psychological testing revealed that the deceased was under the treatment of psychiatrists and was also admitted to hospital as she was under mental trauma and attempted suicide on the death of her father as she had an anxiety as to how her single mother would repay bank loan so also arrange finance for her marriage and maintain her brother.
Mother of the deceased also conceded that the mental condition of the deceased was not stable. It appeared that the deceased was not mentally fit to withstand the shock of the illicit relations of her husband with some other girl.
The mother of the deceased now stated that due to her vulnerable mental condition on the death of her daughter she lodged the report and now she does not want to prosecute further against the applicants.
In the Supreme Court decision of Pinakin Mahipatray Rawal v. State of Gujarat, (2013) 10 SCC 48, it was held that mere extramarital relationship, without anything more cannot be treated as sufficient to invoke the provisions of Section 306 IPC.
In view of the decisions of Supreme Court in Joseph Shine v. Union of India, (2019) 3 SCC 39, B.S Joshi v. State of Haryana, (2003) 4 SCC 576, and a few other decisions, it was held that the interest of justice would demand that no purpose would be served in continuing the criminal proceedings against the applicants.
In Court’s opinion, no case was made out to proceed applicants and the offences punishable under Sections 306, 498-A, 323, 504 and 506 IPC were quashed and set aside. [Baburao v. State of Maharashtra, 2021 SCC OnLine Bom 5460, decided on 13-12-2021]
Advocates before the Court:
Mr Anil S. Mardikar, Senior Advocate assisted by Mr Ved R. Deshpande for applicants in both applications.
Mrs M.A. Barabde, APP for State in both applications.
Mr Palash Mohta, Adv (appointed) for non-applicant no.3 in (APL 846/19 and complainant in APL 1168/21)