Punjab and Haryana High Court: Vikas Bahl, J., granted bail to mother-in-law and wife alleged to have incited husband to commit suicide.

Regular bail for the petitioners was sought in an FIR under Sections 306 and 34 of the Penal Code, 1860 (Section 506 IPC has been added later on).

Petitioners’ counsel submitted that the petitioner-Babita was the mother-in-law of the deceased Vipan and petitioner-Anjali was the wife of the said Vipan and both the petitioners have been in custody.

In the present case, neither there was any suicide note, nor any dying declaration and the present FIR had been registered at the instance of the father of the deceased and a perusal of the FIR would show that no offence under Section 306 IPC was made out.

It was argued that the said Vipan had committed suicide on 22nd September, 2021, whereas Anjali-petitioner had left the matrimonial house on 15th September, 2021.

State Counsel as well as counsel for the complainant, opposed the present petitions for regular bails and submitted that petitioner-Anjali had not left her matrimonial house by her own consent, was in fact had been taken forcibly from there.

Analysis, Law and Decision

The Bench stated that this Court’s decision in State of Punjab v. Kamaljit Kaur, 2008 (2) RCR (Criminal) 562, would show that the said case was also a case under Section 306 IPC in which two persons i.e., husband of the accused and their son had committed suicide and there was a suicide note to the effect that Kamaljit Kaur, wife of the deceased was a lady of bd character and had illicit relations with three persons and in the suicide note, it was stated that action should be taken against such a woman.

In the above case, after considering the provisions of Sections 306 and 107 of Cr.P.C., it was observed by the Sessions Court as well as by this Court that even in a case where the wife is alleged of being a woman of easy virtue, then also, it cannot be said that she has instigated or aided the commission of suicide and had observed that in case the husband was feeling harassed or mentally disturbed due to the alleged illicit relationship of his wife, then the harassment and mental disturbance would not constitute the offence of abetment.

High Court noted that the petitioners were in custody since 12-10-2021 and the challan had already been present and there was total of 21 prosecution witnesses, none of whom were examined, hence the trial was likely to take some time.

Court also stated that in the present case, whether an offence under Section 306 IPC was made out or not, would be a debatable issue, which will be finally adjudicated during the course of the trial.

Hence, the petitioners were ordered to be released on bail and in addition to this Court stated that if any act was done by the petitioners to threaten or influence the complainant or any other witnesses, then it would be open to the State to move an application for cancellation of bail. [Babita v. State of Haryana, 2022 SCC OnLine P&H 1087, decided on 13-5-2022]

Advocates before the Court:

Mr. Ajay Kumar Dahiya, Advocate for the petitioner.

Mr. Amit Aggarwal, DAG, Haryana.

Mr. Gautam Kumar, Advocate for the complainant.

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