Man's drunken behaviour can drive wife to suicide: HC
MUMBAI: Consuming alcohol and then abusing and beating one's wife amounts to cruelty and could drive her to suicide, the Bombay high court has ruled. Justice J H Bhatia dismissed an appeal by Pune-based Ibrahim Nabi Sayyed, convicted in 1993 after his second wife Farida immolated herself, and directed him to surrender to the police and undergo three years' rigorous imprisonment.
"The accused used to willfully consume alcohol and used to abuse and beat his wife regularly. Such conduct was likely to drive the wife to commit suicide and, therefore, he is guilty of subjecting his wife to cruelty," said the judge. Ibrahim was convicted by a sessions court in 1992 under Sections 498A (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) and 306 (abetment of suicide) of IPC.
The prosecution established that Ibrahim was addicted to liquor and used to beat his first wife under the influence. He continued even after his second marriage and treated Farida with such cruelty that she committed suicide three and a half years after marriage.
"If it is shown that a woman had committed suicide within seven years of marriage and that her husband or relative of her husband had subjected her to cruelty, the court may presume, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, that suicide had been abetted by her husband or by such relative of her husband," said the judgment.
Farida died of 100% burn injuries on September 1, 1991. Ibrahim had argued that Farida was injured in a fire which broke out at their residence following a short circuit. The court refused to buy the theory as the police had found a can of kerosene and match stick near Farida's body. The couple had two children.
The court also took on record evidence given by Ibrahim's first wife, who said she too was regularly beaten up by him before he drove her out of their matrimonial house and divorced her.