20 Sep 2021 4:14 PM GMT
Setting aside the conviction order passed against a Husband for abetting the suicide of his wife, the Allahabad High Court last week held that separating wife from his own life could not be a reason which could come under the category of the abetment. The Bench of Justice Ajai Tyagi was hearing an appeal filed by one Jagveer Singh Alias Bantu who had been convicted under Sections...
Setting aside the conviction order passed against a Husband for abetting the suicide of his wife, the Allahabad High Court last week held that separating wife from his own life could not be a reason which could come under the category of the abetment.
The Bench of Justice Ajai Tyagi was hearing an appeal filed by one Jagveer Singh Alias Bantu who had been convicted under Sections 498-A & 306 IPC by Additional Sessions Judge, Pilibhit.
Facts in brief
On December 14, 2008, a written report was submitted by the informant in P.S.- Jahanabad, District- Pilibhit, with the averments that his grand-daughter, who was married to Jagveer Singh (appellant), had been killed. It was evident that she was given poison.
The prosecution case was that the appellant and his parents were not satisfied with the dowry given in the marriage of the deceased and that they used to demand additional dowry and torturing the deceased for not meeting out the same.
In her post mortem report, aluminum phosphide poison was found in the viscera of the deceased, therefore, a charge sheet was submitted against the applicant and his father under Section 498A, 304B IPC and Section ¾ Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.
Importantly, a suicide note, written by the deceased, was the main basis of this case, which was found by Investigating Officer from the room of the deceased.
On believing the averments of suicide-note, the trial court acquitted the father of the appellant and convicted the appellant under Section 306 IPC and under Section 498A IPC.
High Court's observations
At the outset, the Court noted that the trial court had found that the appellant used to torture the deceased mentally and that he had created such a situation before the deceased by separating her from his life that she was not left with any other option but to commit suicide and therefore, the Trial Court held him guilty of abetting the suicide of wife.
However, the High Court opined that this finding of the trial court was not in consonance with the settled position of law regarding abetment, as the Court noted that before a person may be said to have abetted the commission of suicide, he must have played an active role by an act of instigation or by doing a certain act to facilitate the commission of suicide.
Significantly, the court noted that in order to bring the case under Section 306 IPC, it must have been proved that the husband instigated the deceased to commit suicide or that he engaged with one or more persons in any conspiracy to abet the deceased to commit suicide or that he intentionally aided by any act for abetting her to commit suicide.
Now, referring to the facts of the case, the Court noted thus:
"…the trial court has referred the suicide-note left by the deceased which shows the sole reason of committing the suicide by the deceased was that she was separated by the appellant from his life. In the opinion of this Court, the aforesaid reason could not be the reason which could come under the category of the abetment. There is absolutely nothing in the suicide-note, which would make him responsible for an offence under Section 306 IPC…The aforesaid suicide note does not show any mens rea on the part of the appellant."
Lastly, underscoring that if the appellant had separated the deceased from his life, it was not compelling reason which put the deceased in a situation where she had no option but to commit suicide, the Court allowed the appeal and conviction and sentence of the appellant as awarded was set aside.
Case title - Jagveer Singh Alias Bantu v. State of U.P.
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