12 Feb 2024 6:51 AM GMT
The Supreme Court observed that merely advising a partner to marry as per the advice of parents would not attract the penal provisions of abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal.In this case, the girl died by suicide after her boyfriend advised her to marry as per her parent's choice. The deceased girl became upset after the boy's family started looking for a bride....
The Supreme Court observed that merely advising a partner to marry as per the advice of parents would not attract the penal provisions of abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal.
In this case, the girl died by suicide after her boyfriend advised her to marry as per her parent's choice. The deceased girl became upset after the boy's family started looking for a bride. Following her death, the police registered an FIR for abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code against the boyfriend. The High Court declined to quash the case, following which the appellant approached the Supreme Court.
"Broken relationships and heartbreaks are part of everyday life. It could not be said that the appellant by breaking up the relationship with [...] and by advising her to marry in accordance with the advice of her parents, as he himself was doing, had intended to abet the suicide of [....]. Hence the offence under Section 306 is not made out.", the Bench Comprising Justices Vikram Nath and K.V. Viswanathan observed.
At the outset, the Supreme Court after perusing the allegations levied in the FIR and the law laid down by itself, observed that the appellant can not be held guilty for committing an offence of abetment to suicide of the deceased girl as there was no active role being played by the appellant either by an act of instigation or by doing a certain act to facilitate the commission of suicide.
"There must be direct or indirect acts of incitement to the commission of suicide. The accused must be shown to have played an active role by an act of instigation or by doing certain acts to facilitate the commission of suicide."
"it could not be said that the actions of the accused instigated Kousalya to take her life or that he conspired with others to ensure that the person committed suicide or any act of the appellant or omission instigated the deceased resulting in the suicide." the court observed while relying on its recent decision passed in Kamalakar vs. State of Karnataka
In the Kamalakar case, the Supreme Court explained that to charge someone for the offence of abetment to suicide, the prosecution must prove that the accused played a role in the suicide. Specifically, the accused's actions must align with one of the three criteria detailed in Section 107 IPC. This means the accused either encouraged the individual to take their life, conspired with others to ensure the person committed suicide or acted in a way (or failed to act) that directly resulted in the person's suicide.
"Where the words uttered are casual in nature and which are often employed in the heat of the moment between quarreling people, and nothing serious is expected to follow from the same, the same would not amount to abetment of suicide.", the court added.
According to the court, the instigation to commit suicide must be continued and created circumstances for committing suicide.
"In order to constitute 'instigation', it must be shown that the accused had, by his acts or omission or by a continued course of conduct, created such circumstances that the deceased was left with no other option except to commit suicide. The words uttered by the accused must be suggestive of the consequence."
The court also discharged the accused under Section 417 (Punishment of Cheating) and Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Woman Act, 2002 (Penalty of Harassment of Woman).
Accordingly, the court allowed the appeal and quashed the pending criminal proceedings against the accused before the trial court.
Case Details : PRABHU VERSUS THE STATE REP BY THE INSPECTOR OF POLICE & ANR. Criminal Appeal No. 000778 / 2024
Citation : 2024 LiveLaw (SC) 112
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