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Suicide As An Option Is Not Unusual For Lovers, Threatened With Honour Crimes From Families: SC [Read Judgment]

Two lovers, Satish Nirankari and Pooja, belonging to different castes, decided to end their lives by consuming poison, because of parental opposition to their marriage. While Nirankari survived in the suicide attempt, Pooja died. Both the trial court and the High Court found Nirankari guilty of murdering Pooja, on the assumption, that Pooja had changed her mind to marry him, and it was he who forced her to commit suicide. Besides, the act of Pooja hanging herself, after consuming poison, led the courts below to find Nirankari guilty of murder.

The Supreme Court, however, found him not guilty because it felt that the threat of honour crime by their families could force lovers to choose suicide as an option. If, in the process, one survived, and tried to seek medical help for himself and the deceased, as in the instant case, he could not be held guilty of murder, the SC has held.

The criminal appeal filed in 2007 by Nirankari against his conviction and sentence was finally allowed by the Supreme Court bench of Justices A.K.Sikri and Ashok Bhushan on June 9.

The judgment, authored by Justice Sikri, conceded that the phenomenon of a girl sacrificing her love and accepting a decision of her parents, even though unwillingly, is common in this country. “It also happens in love that when a man is not able to get a girl which he wants, he may go to the extent of killing her as he does not want to see her alliance with any other person. This might be the motive in the mind of appellant. However, whether events turned in this way is anybody’s guess as no evidence of this nature has surfaced. It is not even possible for the prosecution to state any such things as whatever actually happened was only known to two persons, one of whom is dead and other is in dock”, the bench concluded.

Read the Judgment here.

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