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Digital_Pundit (Not Required)     04 December 2009

Need help with IPC 306

One of my friend's wife has recently committed suicide and her mother has filed a complaint against our friend. He has been arrested under IPC 306 and is in judicial custody right now. Here is quick history of the case:

The lady committed suicide on the birthday of their child after an argument over the celebrations. My friend walked out of the house thinking that will calm her down. However, after 20-25 mins he got a call from the landlord that his wife has committed suicide by hanging herself from the fan. He rushed back to his house and by that time police was also there. Police found the room locked from inside and their child was also in the room. The lady's body was sent for postmortem.

By evening both the boy & deceased wife's families arrived at the spot and in intial statements girl's family didn't communicate any desire to frame charges against my friend. Hence, police didn't arrest him and asked both families to come to police station next day to finish off paper work.

However, next morning after girl's maternal uncle arrived just before the papers were cleared, her mother changed statement and they requested police to file case. This is what was stated in FIR  by her mother -

"I called my daughter at 6 PM to wish her on her son's birthday. When I spoke to her she seemed afraid & said that her husband fights with her and is forcing her to commit suicide. I called her husband immediately however he disconnected the phone. At 6:30 her husband called us to inform that their daughter has committed suicide by hanging herself from fan. My daughter used to complaint against her husband in past as well that he troubles her and might make her die. We are sure that because of all this she has taken this step and please take action against him."

(A) Is it possible that the guy can get out of jail on bail within a month's time?

(B) If yes, on what grounds?

(C) How strong do you see the case in his favour by these facts?

(D) Any information that we must seek in order to make the case stronger in his favour?

If any other info is required, I will post it here. Please advise at earliest as it's extremely important for him to come out for his kid's wellbeing.

Regards,

Abhishek



Learning

 10 Replies

Digital_Pundit (Not Required)     04 December 2009

I am posting this message here to take some suggestions from the forum because my friend's family & ourselves are confused over the suggestions given by different lawyers. Some lawyers are saying that he can be out on bail within a month. Others say, don't try to get bail before 3-4 months else it will go against him. We are very confused due to this as  we need to ensure that the guy comes out on bail asap as the his two year old kid is in real bad shape (imagine him - mom is dead and dad is in jail). Also, the guy is the only earning member of the family and if he doesn't come out of jail at earliest - his job would be in trouble too. We all know that he has not done anything wrong because the relation of his wife & himself were pretty normal. In fact, that morning they had gone out together and had celebrated. Only issue which girl's family has brought up is that my friend had some extra marital affair and because of that they had problems in their marriage and hence his wife commited suicide which is absolutely wrong. Probably his wife used to doubt her because of the fact that he was working in a multi-national company and the work culture is pretty open there these day. Anyways, my question are:

(A) Is it possible that the guy can get out of jail on bail within a month's time?

(B) If yes, on what grounds?

(C) How strong do you see the case in his favour by these facts?

(D) Any information that we must seek in order to make the case stronger in his favour?

If any other info is required, I will post it here. Please advise at earliest as it's extremely important for him to come out for his kid's wellbeing.

Regards,

Abhishek

Digital_Pundit (Not Required)     04 December 2009

Also, one additional query - how long does it take for the post-mortem report to come and does the post-mortem report containt any information regarding how long ago did the deceased have any s*xual intercourse with someone? As that can be use to prove a normal husband-wife relation (just a thought).

ramprasad reddy. pottipati (Lawyer)     04 December 2009

Sec 306 IPC is abetting to commit suicide. Abetment defines in Sec 107 IPC. In the instant case absolutely there is no abetment, aiding  or instigation from any corner of the accused that the deceased to commit suicide. so the prosecution has to establish all the ingredients to satisfy the prosecution case. Then only Sec 306 IPC will be applicable.

Rajan Salvi (Lawyer)     22 December 2009

 (i) In case of Sushil Kumar Sharma v. Union of India reported in 2005 AIR
SCW p.3569, the Supreme Court makes it very abundantly clear that mere
harassment or cruelty by the husband or his relatives would not constitute an
offence of abetting the commission of suicide. Supreme Court in four lines has
explained the correct position of law very succinctly. The relevant paragraph is
reproduced herein below :

     Basic difference between the two Sections i.e. Section 306 and Section
498-A is that of intention. Under the latter, cruelty committed by the husband
or his relations drag the women concerned to commit suicide while under the
former provision suicide is abetted and intended.

     In the instant case, the prosecution at best can argue that whatever has
been said by each of the witnesses so far as the harassment meted towards the
deceased is concerned dragged the deceased to commit suicide but there is not an
iota of evidence to even remotely suggest that the accused persons ever intended
the consequences of the act or they abetted the commission of suicide.

     (ii) In Swamy Prahaladdas v. State of M.P. and Anr. Reported in 1995
Supp.(3) SCC p.438, the appellant was charged for an offence under Section 306,
IPC on the ground that the appellant during the quarrel is said to have remarked
the deceased 'to go and die'. The Supreme Court was of the view that mere words
uttered by the accused to the deceased 'to go and die' were not even prima-facie
enough to instigate the deceased to commit suicide.

     (iii) In Mahendrasinh v. State of M.P. reported in 1995 Supp. (3) SCC
p.731, the appellant was charged for an offence under Section 306 IPC mainly
based upon the dying declaration of the deceased, which reads as under:-

     My mother-in-law and husband and sister-in-law (husband's elder brother's
wife) harassed me. They beat me and abused me. My husband Mahendra wants to
marry second time. He has illicit connections with my sister-in-law. Because of
those reasons and being harassed I want to die by burning.

     The Supreme Court, considering the definition of 'abetment' under Section
107 IPC found that the charge and conviction of the appellant for an offence
under Section 306 is not sustainable merely on the allegation of harassment to
the deceased. The Supreme Court further held that neither of the ingredients of
abetment are attracted on the statement of the deceased.

     (iv) In Ramesh Kumar v. State of Chhattisgarh , the Supreme Court while
considering the charge framed and the conviction for an offence under Section
306 IPC on the basis of dying declaration recorded by an Executive Magistrate,
in which she had stated that previously there had been quarrel between the
deceased and her husband on the day of occurrence she had a quarrel with her
husband who had said that she could go wherever she wanted to go and that
thereafter she had poured kerosene on herself and had set fire, acquitting the
accused the Supreme Court said :-

     A word uttered in a fit of anger or emotion without intending the
consequences to actually follow cannot be said to be instigation. If it
transpires to the court that a victim committing suicide was hypersensitive to
ordinary petulance, discord and difference in domestic life quite common to the
society to which the victim belonged and such petulance discord and difference
were not expected to induce a similarly circumstanced individual in a given
society to commit suicide, the conscience of the court should not be satisfied
for basing a finding that the accused charged for abetting the offence of
suicide should be found guilty.

     (v) In Sanju alias Sanjay Singh Sengar v. State of Madhya Pradesh 2002 AIR
SCW 2035 (SC), the Supreme Court in para 13 has observed as under :-

     Even if we accept the prosecution story that the appellant did tell the
deceased 'to go and die', that itself does not constitute the ingredient of
'instigation'. The word 'instigate' denotes incitement or urging to do some
drastic or unadvisable action or to stimulate or incite. Presence of mens rea,
therefore, is the necessary concomitant of instigation. It is common knowledge
that the word uttered in a quarrel or in a spur of the moment cannot be taken to
be uttered with mens rea. It is in a fit of anger and emotional.

   9.The principle of law which has been explained in each of the above referred
judgments of the Supreme Court is that before a person can be held guilty for
abetting the commission of suicide, the prosecution must establish by cogent,
convincing and overwhelming evidence that the accused intended the consequences
of the act namely suicide and abetted the suicide within the meaning of Section
107 of IPC. Mere harassment or cruelty which drags the woman to commit suicide
is not sufficient to constitute the offence under Section 306 of IPC.

 

1 Like

prakash vathore (practicing lawyer)     22 December 2009

i agree with mr. reddy.

Digital_Pundit (Not Required)     22 December 2009

Thanks a ton everyone for the inputs. Especially Mr. Salvi & Mr. Reddy :)

MOHANA SUNDARAM (Advocate High court Madras. M-9840908555)     22 December 2009

thanks rajan sir for your useful reply and citations.

Adv.Deshmukh Ramaraje Vyankatrao (Advocate)     24 December 2009

I agree with Mr.Rajan Salavi.

subhash kumar (advocate)     28 December 2009

Dear Abhishek, the case is on the statement of mother of your wife, first you seek for your regular bail  on the basis that you have a small child and no body is there to look after and you are only earnig member of the family .Could you let me know where you were when your wife committed suicide , do you have any strong alibi to prove your presence there. then collect the evidence/ witnesses then only you can win the case .

Subhash kumar, adv

Digital_Pundit (Not Required)     30 December 2009

Thanks Subhash ji for advice. First a clarification - Actually the case is of my friend - not mine. Well, when his wife committed suicide, he was not at home and was in the market. Infact, his landlord and police called him to inform about it and by the time he reached home, police was already present. Does that help?


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