Calcutta High Court: While deciding a revision petition seeking the quashing of proceedings for offence of abetment of suicide, a single-judge bench comprising of Shampa Dutt (Paul),* J., held that “there is prima facie materials in this case against the petitioners to go to trial and quashing a case of such a nature will cause miscarriage of justice”.
The instant matter originated from a written complaint made by the complainant to the Inspector—in-Charge, Madhyamgram Police Station. The complaint alleged that the complainant’s minor daughter committed suicide on 13-07-2017.
The complaint further alleged a love relationship between the complainant and the petitioner. It was claimed that the minor daughter had been subjected to mental and physical torture by the petitioner and his mother, who also demanded money from the complainant.
After investigation, the police filed a Charge Sheet under Section 306 of the Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) against the petitioner. The case was transferred to the Additional Sessions Judge, Fast Track Court No. 2, Barasat, North 24 Parganas, and charges were framed against the petitioner on 26-09-2019.
- Whether the charge of abetment under Section 306 of the IPC can be sustained based on the material on record?
Whether the written complaint and the materials collected during the investigation establish a case against the petitioner for the alleged offenses?
The petitioner contented that the charge was improperly framed as the material on record did not support the charges under Section 306 of the IPC. It was contended that even if the allegations in the written complaint were accepted as true, they did not establish a case against the petitioner. It was also argued that there was no evidence of abetment by the petitioner in the victim’s suicide.
The Prosecution contended that there were sufficient materials on record to support the charges, and given the serious nature of the offense, the case should proceed to trial.
The court referred to the materials on record, including the case diary, and noted the following:
- The victim was a minor at the time of the alleged suicide.
- The case was registered for the offense under Sections 306 and 34 of the IPC.
Allegedly, the petitioner and the victim (a minor) were in a relationship, and specific allegations were made in the case diary.
While citing Daxaben v. State of Gujarat, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 936, where the Supreme Court emphasized that quashing a case of such a nature could lead to a miscarriage of justice, the Court opined that even indirect acts of incitement to suicide could constitute the offense of abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the IPC.
The Court held that the offense alleged in the case had the essential elements required under Section 305 of the IPC since the victim was a minor. Accordingly, the Court ruled that the case should proceed to trial as there were prima facie materials against the petitioner and quashing the case at this stage would cause a miscarriage of justice.
The Court dismissed the revision petition and ordered the case to proceed toward trial in accordance with the law. All connected applications were disposed of, and any interim orders were vacated.
[Amit Polley v. State of W.B., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2921, order dated 18-09-2023]
*Judgment by Justice Shampa Dutt (Paul)
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Angshuman Chakraborty, Counsel for the Petitioner
Mr. S. G. Mukerji, Ld. P.P. and Mr. Bitasok Banerjee., Counsel for the Respondent/State