The Bombay High Court ruled last week that insulting someone with harsh words does not constitute abetment of suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). [Tejas Pomraj Parihar vs the State of Maharashtra]
The single-judge Justice Bharati Dangre relied on the Supreme Court’s decision in Arnab Goswami vs State of Maharashtra to hold that two essential ingredients of an offence under Section 306 must be satisfied: (1) abetment and (2) the accused’s intention to aid, instigate or abet the deceased to commit suicide.
“Thus, the accused’s behaviour, even if it insults the deceased by using derogatory words, does not constitute aiding and abetting suicide. There should be evidence to establish that the accused meant to incite the dead to commit suicide with such an act. The accused cannot be convicted under section 306 of the IPC unless the components of instigation/abetment to commit suicide are satisfied “In her July 28 judgement, the Court stated.
The court was preoccupied with a bail application submitted by Tejas Parihar in a case brought against him at Ghatkopar Police Station in suburban Mumbai for abetting the death of his brother’s girlfriend.
According to the prosecution evidence, the girl was in a relationship with Karan (the applicant’s brother). The candidate and his family, however, were opposed to the relationship. The applicant is accused of insulting and abusing the girl and even threatening her family if she refused to marry his brother.
The girl committed herself on July 30, 2020, and in her suicide note, she blamed the applicant and other members of her boyfriend’s family for her death.
After reading the message, Justice Dangre stated that the girl was frustrated and depressed.
“When the suicide letter is read, it reflects the mental condition of a girl who felt sad when she was forced to disclose her connection with Karan in front of her family, but he refused to conduct the marriage. In a moment of rage, she has written that Karan’s entire family would be punished “The court noted.
The Court went on to say that abetment is a mental process that includes inciting or consciously assisting someone in performing an act.
“Conviction cannot be supported in the absence of a positive act on the part of the accused to provoke or help in the commission of suicide. The legislature’s objective, as well as the ratio of cases resolved by various Courts revolving around Section 306 of the IPC, makes it obvious that there must be a clear men’s rea to commit the act. It also necessitates active and direct participation in causing the deceased to commit suicide, seeing no other alternative, and that the conduct must have been intended to put the deceased in such a situation that he or she committed suicide “The court said.
As a result, the Court granted his release with an Rs. 25,000 surety.
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