J.R. VORA, J.
(1) INSTANT Appeal is preferred by the appellant under Section 374 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, against the judgment and order, delivered by Special Judge, ahmedabad (Rural), Mirzapur, on 23rd of September, 1996, in Special criminal Case No. 12 of 1993. Present appellant, being accused of the said Special criminal Case No. 12 of 1993, was charged with the offences punishable under Sections 306, 323 of the Indian Penal Code as well as under Section 3 (l) (x) as well as under section 3 (2) (v) of The Scheduled Castes and scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)Act, 1989. Vide judgment impugned in this appeal, the appellant was convicted by the trial Court for, the offences punishable under sections 323 and 306 of the Indian Penal Code and for the offences punishable under Section 3 (1) (x) and under Section 3 (2) (v) of the Prevention of Atrocities Act. Accused was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment of one year and to pay fine of rs. 1,000/-, in default, to undergo imprisonment of three months for the offence proved under Section 323 of the Indian Penal code. The appellant was also sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment of 10 years and to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/-, in default, to undergo simple imprisonment of two years for the offence proved under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. He was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment of three years and to pay fine of Rs. 3,000/-, in default, to undergo simple imprisonment of six months for the offence punishable under Section 3 (1) (x) of the scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prev ntion of Atrocities) Act, 1989. Like wise, he was also sentenced to undergo life imprisonment for the offence punishable under section 3 (2) (v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)Act, 1989 and to pay fine of Rs. 10,000/-, in default, to undergo rigorous imprisonment of three years. It was also directed by the Trial Court that out of the amount of fine, an amount of Rs. 20,000/- be paid to the original complainant by way of compensation under Section 357 of the Indian Penal Code and, hence, this Appeal against the judgment and order of conviction and sentence.
(2) AS per the brief facts of the prosecution case, the present accused was serving as a Supervisor at Birla and Harjivandas High school, Dhandhuka in Ahmedabad District. The incident in question occurred on 1st of july, 1992 at about, 4. 30 p. m. Deceased arvindbhai Purshottam, belonging to scheduled caste, was a student in the said school. On the day of the incident, accused had parked his scooter in the school compound. In the second recess at about 4. 15 to 4. 30 p. m. deceased Arvindbhai tried to tamper with the scooter of the accused and on account of which, the scooter ignited and started. He could not kill the engine of the scooter and, therefore, somebody informed the accused about this. It is alleged that accused rushed in the compound and abused deceased Arvindbhai and also uttered derogatory words to lower the caste of the deceased. Accused also gave fists and kick blows to deceased Arvindbhai. This was considered to be indiscipline on the part of the student and, therefore, father and guardian of Arvindbhai i. e. complainant purshottambhai Kanubhai was called upon by the school authorities. Student deceased arvindbhai tried to locate his father, who was a tractor driver in municipality and after locating him, brought him to the school. The father and student both met the accused in the office of the school. It is the allegation of the prosecution that in the office, the accused allegedly told the father of the deceased Arvindbhai that his son Arvindbhai had sat on the scooter of the accused and thereby had polluted the same. Other conversation, according to the prosecution case, took place in which the accused uttered insults to the caste of the student Arvindbhai and his father. It is alleged that the accused further threatened the father of Arvindbhai that Arvindbhai would be rusticated from the school after issuing red endorsement certificate. However, by the act of supplication on the part of the father of Arvindbhai, the accused asked them to give apology and sign apology letter, which was written and ready. Complainant the father of Arvindbhai signed such apology letter. Thereafter, both of them i. e. father and son went towards their residence. On way, some conversation took place between the father and son, wherein son conveyed to his father that accused had beaten him by fists and kicks. Thereafter father - complainant went to his job while Arvindbhai was sent to his house. Thereafter complainant Purshottambhai reached at his residence at about 7. 45 p. m. and inquired about his son Arvindbhai. He found that Arvindbhai had not returned to his house. In the meantime, information was received that a dead body of a boy was found on railway track and an accident had occurred and, ultimately, it was revealed that arvindbhai had committed suicide laying down on tracks and was crushed under on coming train. Initially, the Railway Police started inquiry into accidental death, but body was sent to the post-mortem examination, wherein relative of the deceased, who was working in the hospital, found some chits from the person of the deceased, which turn to be suicidal notes. Thereafter, complainant purshottambhai filed a complaint on 5th of July, 1992 against the accused before Dhandhuka Police Station, which was registered as a crime against the accused for the above said offences. Investigation was carried out and, ultimately, a charge-sheet came to be filed in the Court of Special judge, Ahmedabad District (Rural) and was made over to the Trial Judge.
(3) CHARGE was framed against the accused vide Exhibit-8 on 2nd of March, 1995 for the above said offences, to which the accused pleaded not guilty and, therefore, the prosecution examined the following witnesses and pfoduced following documentary evidence.
Dr. Bhavsinh Mohansinh Vaghela
Evidence relating to the incident
Rules of Admission
Sakuben Purshottambhai , mother of the deceased
Allahrakha Nathubhai , Co-student of deceased Arvind in Standard -X
Bhikhubhai Haribhai Solanki , claims to be an eye-witness
Usmanbhai Galabhai - hostile
Panchnama of the scene of offence
Panchnama of seizure of 2 notebooks in the handwriting of deceased Arvindbhai
Premjibhai Pannabhai , Sweeper at the Hospital
Shantilal Shankarlal - hostile
Gulamasgar Imamali - hostile - 2nd panch of Exh. 21
Usmanbhai Galabhai - hostile
Panchnama for seizure of 2 chits (Exh. 36-37)
Rameshgiri Ratigiri Goswami
Panchnama for production of Chit (Exh. 36) by Doctor
Maganbhai Vittalbhai - recovered Chit (Exh. 36-37) from the pant pocket of the deceased.
Police Witnesses :
Prabhatsinh Mohansinh 'Rathod - Railway Police Constable
Natwarlal Somabhai Rathod , PI
Naransinh Motisinh , registered the offence
Copy of First Information Report
Copy of First Information Report sent to Sessions Judge,
Ahmedabad (Rural) on 8. 7. 1992.
Hathiji Becharji Chavda,. PSI , who submitted charge-sheet
Expert Evidence :
Gatjendraprasad Shantilal Acharya , Handwriting Expert
Opinion of the Expert
Reasons for the opinion
Chit in the hand of deceased
Chit in the hand of deceased
(4) THEREAFTER the statement of the accused was recorded by the Trial Court under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. After denying the evidence of the prosecution, the accused explained that, on the day of the incident, he had parked his scooter in the compound of the school, and in the recess, peon of the school informed him that some student had started his scooter. He went at the spot and found that the student had started his scooter and, therefore, he took that student along with him in the office of the Principal and requested principal to take appropriate action against the student, and except that, according to the accused, nothing was true. The accused also examined one Babubhai sukhdevbhai Acharya, the then Principal of the School, as Defence Witness at Exhibit 72. Thereafter, learned Trial Judge heard prosecution as well as the defence and came to the above conclusion of convicting the accused and to sentence him and, therefore, this Appeal.
(5) LEARNED Senior Counsel Mr. A. D. Shah, on behalf of the appellant, vehemently urged that conviction and sentence of the accused under the provisions of the Scheduled castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is absolutely unjustifiable. The contents of suicidal note, which is at exhibit-36, refers only to the incident which took place and this suicidal note nowhere mentions about accused uttering any derogatory abusive words lowering the caste of the deceased. One of the witnesses i. e. Allahrakha Nathubhai - PW-4, examined at exhibit-24, co-student of deceased Arvind, nowhere refers to any filthy, derogatory, abusive remarks relating to the caste of the deceased By the accused. The only evidence available in this respect is of Bhikhubhai haribhai, PW-5, Exhibit-25, who would not help the prosecution case because the witness did not state before the police in this respect, and this contradiction has been proved in cross-examination of this witness. So far as conviction and sentence of the accused under Section 306 of the Indian Penal code is concerned, it is submitted that, feelings which is expressed in suicidal note of the deceased, nowhere mentions anything, which refers to the accused, and on the contrary, with reference to the accused it is mentioned that even the student was beaten more by the teacher, he would have tolerated it, but the statement of the principal that he (deceased) would not be permitted to study further and further he was warned by the Principal that if any such mistake appeared in future, the deceased would be rusticated from the school, had taken ill effect on his brain, which had driven him (deceased) to find the path of death. Principal is the defence witness for the accused in the trial and, therefore, there is no evidence on record to show that the accused had intentionally aided or instigated the deceased to commit suicide. In any case, it was urged that, scolding of the student by the Principal for indiscipline and obtaining apology to maintain discipline, would not in any case a synonymous to instigating or intentionally aiding the deceased to commit suicide according to law and therefore, it is submitted that necessary ingredients of the offence under Section 306 of the Indian Penal code not proved and hence the conviction and sentence is bad in law. It is submitted that the ingredients of Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code is not prima facie established, the provisions of Section 3 (2) (v)of the Prevention of Atrocities Act also would not stand and the conviction on that count is also bad in law. Therefore, conviction under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code is concerned, it is vehemently submitted that, though, the incident is not proved, in any case, attempt on the part of the deceased to start the scooter lying in the compound, was an act of indiscipline, and even if it is proved that the accused is guilty for the offence punishable under Section 323 of the indian Penal Code, then also, it was an act on the part of the accused of chastisement by the teacher to the student and not an act of voluntarily causing hurt. Learned Counsel placed reliance upon certain decisions and they are (i) in the matter of G. B. Ghatge v. Emperor, as reported in AIR 1949 Bom 226 : (1949 (50) Cri LJ 789) and (ii) in the matter of Ganesh Chandra Sana v. Jiw raj somani, as reported in AIR 1965 Calcutta, 32 : (1965 (1) Cri LJ 24), wherein it has been observed that administering corporal punishment by a teacher to the student, may be exceeding limits, but still in such circumstances, teacher is entitled to benefit of exception as envisaged under. Sections 88 and 89 of the Indian Penal Code. It is, therefore, vehemently submitted that the impugned judgment and order of conviction and sentencing the accused,. is required to be set aside and accused is entitled to acquittal of all charges.
(6) AS against that, learned APP Mr. K. C. Shah vehemently submitted that Section 88 of the Indian Penal Code has no application at all to the present incident. It is submitted that the Law has changed considerably and corporal punishment to a child by the teacher is categorically banned, for which learned APP Mr. K. C. Shah quoted some Rules of the State Government in this respect. Learned APP Mr. K. C. Shah submitted rules as to Grant-in-Aid Code of the state Government, which is of 1964. Accordingly, as per Rule 79, it is mandatory for the teachers in grant-in-aid schools that they shall not inflict any corporal punishment to any student, and for the breach of this, the district Education Officer is empowered to take disciplinary action against the concerned teacher. It is, therefore, submitted that accused cannot claim benefit of Sections 88 and 89 of the Indian Penal Code. It is submitted that suicidal note at Exhibit-36 establishes beyond doubt that the deceased was beaten by the accused, that had driven him to commit suicide and Chit itself is the evidence of instigating the deceased student to commit suicide and, hence, it could not be said that the ingredients of section 306 of the Indian Penal Code are absent and accused is entitled to acquittal. The actual incident of giving fists and kicks to the deceased is proved by eye-witnesses and when the ingredients of Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code is established beyond doubt, the accused is also liable to be convicted for the offence punishable under Section 3 (2) (v)of the Prevention of Atrocities Act and likewise under Section 3 (1) (x) of the said Act. It is submitted that Defence Witness examined by the defence is neither here nor there and when prosecution has proved the case beyond doubt against the accused, the deposition of the Defence Witness is not reliable.
(7) ON perusing the evidence of the prosecution, the material witnesses are PW-1 exhibit 16 Rurshottambhai Hanubhai, father of the deceased. He stated that he had accompanied with his son to the school and at that time the accused was the Principal and threatened him that his son Arvind had polluted his scooter and had started the scooter. The accused threatened to rusticate his son Arvind and by act of supplication on his part, a written apology was taken from him. He had identified the said apology, which is placed at Exhibit - 17. Thereafter, he also stated that he went towards the residence and from there he went to his job and in the evening when he returned he came to know that somebody was crushed under the coming train and that turned out to be his son. After five days, he filed complaint. The complaint is produced at Exhibit-18. PW-3 Sakuben Purshottambhai, mother of the deceased, supports PW-1 and nothing is important, except supporting evidence, from the deposition of this witness. PW-4 allahrakha Nathubhai, is an important witness and he was a co-student and present at the time when the incident took place and he submitted that, at the time of the incident, principal of the School was one Mr. Babubhai Sukhdevbhai acharya while present accused was Headmaster. On 1st of july, 1992, at about 1. 30, deceased Arvind was sitting on the scooter of the accused and he was present at that time. Arvind gave a kick to the scooter and scooter had started. Arvind could not stop the engine of the scooter. At that time, accused came in the compound and had taken the deceased to the Office and he came to know that in office he had administered 2/3 slaps to the deceased and thereafter he went to his class. He came to know thereafter that Arvind had committed suicide. PW-5 Bhikhubhai haribhai Solanki is also very important witness and was present at the time of the incident. He deposed that he was serving at sarvjanik Vidyarti Gruh at Dhandhuka and he was Warden of this institution and this institution is a residential hostel for the students of scheduled caste. The government grants scholarships to scheduled caste students studying at his institution and he being Warden, he had been to the school for obtaining scholarships of the students staying in his institution. On 1st of July, 1992, when he reached in the school compound at about 4. 30 p. m. , he noticed that a group of students was gathered in the compound. He went there and noticed that the accused was beating the deceased Arvind and was abusing. He requested accused, who was headmaster, not to beat the student. The accused told him that if such indisciplined incident takes place in his institution, whether the. witness would not take any disciplinary action and informed this witness that the deceased had attempted to start his scooter. The witness further deposed that accused was uttering derogatory words lowering the caste of the deceased in insulting tone. Thereafter, according to witness, accused took deceased in the Office. P W-6 dr. Bhavsinh Mohansinh Vaghela, examined at Exhibit-29, is Doctor, who conducted postmortem on the dead body on 2nd of July, 1992 at Dhandhuka. He submitted on record the post-mortem note. The death of the deceased was on account of suicide, that too, crushing under on-coming train, is not disputed. PW-7 Prabhatsinh Mohansinh rathod, examined at Exhibit 31, was the head Constable, who conducted accidental death inquiry and sent the dead body for post-mortem, wherein he found a suicidal note, which was recovered from the person of dead body. PW-8 Premjibhai Pannabhai, examined at Exhibit-32, stated that he was serving in Public Health Center at dhandhuka at the time of the incident and he was on duty from 2. 00 p. m. to 8. 00 p. m. on 2nd of July, 1992 as Sweeper. He was informed on that day by one Kalubhai, cousin brother of the deceased that deceased had died and his dead body was taken to community Health Center wherein this witness was serving and after post-mortem, maternal uncle of the deceased Maganbhai vittalbhai, had given him one Chit i. e. suicidal note recovered by Maganbhai Vittalbhai from the person of the deceased. PW-9 gajendraprasad Shantilal Acharya, examined at exhibit-33, is handwriting expert and he compared the admitted handwriting seized by the police from the house of the deceased and the handwriting of suicidal note at Exhibits 36 and 37, and opined that, both the Chits Exhibits 36 and 37 were of the handwriting of the deceased. PW-14 maganbhai Vittalbhai, examined at Exhibit-57, happens to be maternal uncle of the deceased. According to his deposition, when he came to know that his nephew had died due to accident, he reached at Community health Center where the dead body was taken and last rituals were performed by him. While he was doing that, he examined the pant which was on the dead body. On further examination, he found two Chits from the front pocket of the pant, which he identified to be the Chits placed on record at Exhibits 36 and 37. He, with the help of premjibhai Pannabhai, PW-8, took out the chits and handed over the said Chits to the doctor.
(8) ACCORDING to prosecution, these Chits were seized by the police from the Doctor in pursuance of panchnama, however, the panchas did not support the said panchnama.
(9) PW-15 Natwarlal Somabhai Rathod, examined at Exhibit-59, was serving as PSI at Dhandhuka Police Station on 5th of July, 1992 and according to him, on that day, head Constable had recorded the complaint of the complainant and had registered the offence and investigation was entrusted to him. He draw the panchnama and recorded statements and carried out the investigation. PW-16 Naransinh Motisinh, examined at exhibit-63, deposed that while he was serving in Dhandhuka Police Station as a Head constable, on 5th of July, 1992 at 8. 30 p. m. complainant Purshottambhai Hanunbhai offered a complaint in this case, which he recorded and crime was registered. He identified his signature as well as the signature of the complainant at Exhibit-18. PW-17 amarsinh Magansinh, examined at Exhibit 67 deposed that Police Sub-Inspector Mr. Rathod was in-charge of investigation, but on his transfer, investigation was entrusted to him and in investigation he had recorded the statement of witness Maganbhai vittalbhai on 17th of October, 1992.
(10) THIS is all the evidence of the prosecution,
(11) WHILE Defence Witness No. 1 babubhai Sukhdevbhai Acharya, examined at Exhibit-72, deposed that on 1st of July, 1992, he was serving as Principal in Birla high School at Dhandhuka, accused was serving as Supervisor in the school at that time. On 1st of July, 1992, at 4. 30 while he was present in his chamber along with the accused, one more teacher Mr. A. S. Parmar, entered in the chamber and informed the accused that somebody had started his scooter. The accused had gone in the compound and had brought one student along with him. He had informed the student to call his father or guardian. The student had, after some time, called his father. He informed his father that his son had started the scooter in compound and since this was the first mistake committed by him, the father of the student was required to apologize for that. They kept printed form of apology, which was read over to the father of the student and thereafter the signature of the father of the student and the student were obtained on the said apology letter, which is placed on record at Exhibit-17. According to this witness, he had signed Exhibit-17. The act of the student was indiscipline and, therefore, he had obtained apology. On the next day, he came to know that the student had committed suicide under on-coming train.
(12) WE have considered the rival contentions advanced in this Appeal. We have re-appreciated the whole evidence recorded during the trial. We have taken into consideration complete and comprehensive evaluation of all vital features of the case and the broad and reasonable probabilities arising out of the circumstances emerging from the evidence recorded.
(13) FIRST we have to re-appreciate the evidence on record against the accused for the charge under Section 306 of the Indian penal Code. The prosecution has heavily relied upon the documentary evidence at exhibits 36 and 37 alleged to be suicidal note written by the deceased. In addition to that, eye-witness Bhikhubhai Haribhai solanki, witnessed the incident in'the compound, has also been relied upon along with pw-4 Allahrakha Nathubhai, examined at exhibit - 24, being co-student of the deceased Arvind. Reliance has also been placed upon the testimony of complainant, father of the deceased, Purshottambhai Hanubhai. Now, considering the contents of the Chits, we observe that, it is proved beyond doubt that said Chits were recovered from the person of the deceased and were written by the deceased. This is proved by the evidence of PW-14, Exhibit-57 Maganbhai Vittalbhai and corroborating evidence of police officers, who draw panchnamas. Though, panchas have not supported, but the fact remains proved that those Chits were recovered from the person of the deceased. It is also proved through the expert evidence pw-9 Gajendraprasad Shantilal Acharya from admitted and disputed handwriting that Exhibits 36 and 37 were written by deceased arvind. Now, considering the contents of those Chits as it is, it is found that there is nothing in Chit Exhibit-37, except, the whole Chit is written repeating that "om shree Ganeshaya Namaha" while in Chit at exhibit-36, it has been mentioned by the deceased that at 4. 30 in recess he was sitting on the scooter of the accused and when scooter started and could not be stopped, accused had beaten him. The deceased has further mentioned that he is not aggrieved by the beating given by the accused and he could have tolerated had he been beaten more, but he felt immensely aggrieved by the statement of the Principal "defence Witness no. 1" that the deceased would be rusticated, if the deceased had committed one more mistake. Therefore, the deceased has further stated in the Chit that the human being was bound to commit error and, therefore, he searched the path of death. PW-1 purshottambhai Hanubhai refers to the incident in a manner that when the incident happened, accused uttered derogatory words against the deceased and thereafter by supplication to the Principal, after giving written apology, he returned home. In cross-examination, in para-5, the witness also admitted that the Principal at that time was Babubhai Sukhdevbhai Acharya and he further stated that though he did not know babubhai, but in the Office accused and babubhai were present and Principal babubhai had scolded him on account of the behaviour of his son. He had given written apology to Principal Babubhai. Now, while considering the evidence of PW-5 bhikhubhai Haribhai Solanki in this regard, he refers to the incident in the manner that, when he noticed, the accused was beating the deceased and uttering derogatory remarks to the deceased Arvind. This is the evidence, on which the prosecution has relied upon for the ingredients of Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, which refers to the ingredients in the manner that whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Therefore, the issue is the behaviour of the accused, which is proved is sufficient to establish the abetment, as defined under section 107 of the Indian Penal Code and necessary ingredients of that abetment is instigating. Wheh the whole evidence is reappreciated with the ingredients of Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, it is clearly found that in Chit at Exhibit 36 itself the deceased made it clear that, it was not the behaviour of the accused of beating him, which was taken ill by him, but on the contrary, it is stated in the Chit that, he would have been tolerated further beating, but when Principal (not accused) - Defence Witness no. 1, scolded him that the second mistake on the part of the deceased would result into rustication of the deceased, led the deceased to choose the path of death. So it is clear that, in the Chit, the deceased is not blaming the accused for choosing his path for committing suicide, but he blames the Defence Witness No. 1, who was the then principal of the School, for his committing suicide. The matter is still viewed from other angle, appreciating the evidence, even the act of the Principal i. e. the Defence Witness no. 1, who is not an accused in the trial, and if the behaviour of the accused, which is proved of beating the deceased, is taken into consideration, then also, the question which would arise is, whether in the facts and circumstances proved, was it the only path available to the deceased to end his life. Learned Counsel for the appellant has relied upon a decision of the Apex Court in the matter of Sanju alias Sanjy Singh Sengar v. State of Madhya Pradesh, as reported in jt 2002 (Supp11) SC 248 : (2002 Cri LJ 2796). In paragraphs 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, the Apex Court observed as under :
"7. Section 107 I. P. C. defines abetment to mean that a person abets the doing of a thing if he firstly, instigates any person to do that thing; or secondly, engages with one or more other person or persons in any conspiracy for doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to doing of that thing; or thirdly, intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that things.
8. Before we advert further, at this stage we may notice a few decisions of this Court, relevant for the purpose of disposal of this case.
9. In Swamy Prahaladdas v. State of M. P. and Anr. (1995 Supp. (3) SCC 438, the appellant was charged for an offence under Section 306 I. P. C. on the ground that the appellant during the quarrel is said to have remarked the deceased 'to go and die'. This 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.
10. In Mahendra Singh v. State of M. P. , (1995 Supp, (3) SCC 731) : (1996 Cri LJ 894), the appellant was charged for an offence under Section 306 I. P. C. Basically 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 a second time. He has illicit connections with my sister-in-law. Because of these reasons and being harassed I want to die by burning. "
11. This Court considering the definition of abetment' under Section 107 I. P. C. , 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. This Court further held that neither of the ingredients of abetment are attracted on the statement of the deceased.
12. In Ramesh Kumar v. State of chhattisgarh (2001) 9 SCC 618 : (2001 Cri LJ 4724), this court while considering the charge framed and the conviction for an offence under Section 306 I. P. C. 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 and 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 this 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 differences in domestic life quite common to the society to which the victim belonged and such petulance, discord and differences 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. "
(14) THEREFORE, it clearly appears that the trial Court erroneously accepted the prosecution story that the behaviour of the accused, which is proved on record, was such as to constitute abetment within the meaning of Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code. If it transpires to the court that a victim committing suicide was hypersensitive to ordinary petulance, discord and differences, which is of common in the society and it could not be said that such petulance, discord and differences to the induced and ordinary person to commit suicide. No offence could be said to have been committed under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. Even if the accused had beaten the deceased, it could not be said that it is an act of attempt to commit suicide or instigating the commission of suicide by the deceased. It could not also be said that no other alternative to the deceased, except, to end his life was open. Even, scolding by Principal not to commit the mistake again and obtaining written apology from student and his father is not a conduct, which would drive any person to commit suicide. It clearly appears that hypersensitivity of the deceased induced him to commit suicide. There is no other evidence of the prosecution on record, which indicates that the circumstances were so compelling that there could not be in ordinary circumstances, any other remedy to the victim except to commit suicide. At least, we found that, the conviction by the Trial court to the accused for the offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal code and sentencing him, is erroneous and is required to be set aside and he is required to be acquitted under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.
(15) SO far as the charge under Section 3 (2) (v) of the Prevention of Atrocities Act is concerned, when the charge under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code is not proved, the ingredients of Section 3 (2) (v) of the Prevention of Atrocities Act also would not stand and the conviction of the accused for the charge under Section 3 (2) (v) of the scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is also required to be set aside along with the sentence awarded to the accused.
(16) SO far as the charge under Section 3 (l) (x) of the Prevention of Atrocities Act is concerned, the prosecution has produced the evidence of complainant purshottambhai Hanubhai - PW-1 and PW-5 bhikhubhai Haribhai Solanki, who is an alleged eye witness. No other evidence is available in, respect of the charge that the accused intentionally insulted or intimidated with intent to humiliate the deceased and his father about their caste in public place. PW-1 Purshottambhai Hanubhai, father of the deceased, in his evidence before the court stated that his deceased son conveyed to him that accused had uttered derogatory insulting words about the caste at the time of the incident. Though PW-1 purshottambhai Hanubhai stated that along with his son, when he met the Principal, and accused was the Principal at that time in the cabin of the Principal, the accused threatened him and stated that his son had polluted his scooter and further stated that they were being scheduled caste persons, wasting the money of the government. By supplication, he gave written apology for the behaviour of his son. Now in his cross-examination in para-5, he was confronted about who was Principal at the time of the incident, he stated that one Babubhai shukdevbhai, to be the Principal of the school of the accused. He also admitted that, in the cabin of the Principal, Principal was babubhai Shukdevbhai and he scolded him and Babubhai Shukdevbhai stated to him that a written apology from him was necessary and he tendered it. The Defence Witness Babubhai sukhdevbhai has been examined at Exhibit - 72 and he has stated that he was Principal at the relevant time and in his presence written apology was given by PW-1 Purshottambhai Hanubhai, but nothing had taken place, as stated by pw-1, that in the cabin, the accused stated that Arvind had polluted his scooter and that being scheduled caste persons, they were wasting the government money. Written apology letter signed by deceased, PW-1 and defence Witness is produced by prosecution at Exhibit-17, which is an admitted document. So, the charge that the accused uttered insulting words against PW-1 to insult his caste is not proved nor the fact is proved that the accused uttered insulting language in public place while he was beating arvind in the compound of the School. This is so because, firstly, when we refer to the Chit at Exhibit 36, there is no mention by the deceased in the Chit that the accused had insulted the caste of the deceased and his father. Therefore, the charge is not proved from the evidence of PW-1 purshottambhai Hanubhai and from Chit at exhibit-36. The only witness is now remained is PW-5 Bhikhubhai Haribhai solanki and he claims to have seen the incident and also deposed before the Court that he noticed that, at the time of the incident, the accused was uttering insulting and instigating words to the deceased. When the evidence of PW-5 is appreciated as a whole, we found that, in para-5 of his deposition, he admitted that he did not state before the police that he (accused) uttered derogatory words to the caste of the deceased or had seen that the accused was beating the deceased. These contradictions were admitted by him in para-5. This witness, therefore, though claims to be an eye-witness, but his evidence is not reliable on account of the improvements he made in his deposition, which goes to the root of the prosecution case. The important contradictions are proved by the admission of this witness in para-5 and, therefore no reliance, whatsoever, could be placed upon the evidence of this witness and, hence, the Trial court clearly erred in coming to the conclusion that the charge against the accused was proved under Section 3 (1) (x) of the Prevention of Atrocities Act. The conviction and sentence awarded by the Trial Court in this respect is required to be set aside and the accused is required to be acquitted on this ground.
(17) SO far as the charge under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code is concerned, the prosecution has relied upon PW-1 purshottambhai Hanubhai; PW-4 Allahrakha Nathubhai; pw-5 Bhikhubhai Haribhai solanki and Chit at Exhibit-36. PW-1 purshottambhai Hanubhai stated in his deposition that when he inquired from his son while he was going to home after giving written apology, his son conveyed to him that accused had beaten him. While PW-4 allarakha Nathubhai, a co-student of the deceased stated to the extent that deceased was sitting on the scooter of the accused and he had started the scooter. Therefore, the accused came in the compound and after catching hold of the deceased, accused took him to the office of the School. Afterwards, he came to know that in the office, accused had inflicted slaps to the deceased. While PW-5 Bhikhubhai Haribhai Solanki stated that, he noticed that, accused was beating the deceased at the time of the incident and was abusing him. However, appreciating the evidence as a whole for the charge under Section 323 of the Indian penal Code, it clearly appears that, PW-4 allahrakha Nathubhai is not at all helpful to the prosecution as he has not witnessed the incident in which the accused had beaten the deceased. Likewise, PW-5 bhikhubhai Haribhai Solanki, who claims to be an eye-witness, is not also a reliable witness, as appreciated earlier, that whatever he stated in the examination-in-chief he admitted in para-5 of the cross that he had not stated before the police, to give an impression that, this witness has not witnessed the incident in the manner he deposed before the court. We do not place any reliance on the evidence of PW-5 even for the charge under Section-323 of the Indian penal Code. However, still on appreciating of remaining evidence, we found that, the incident to the extent that the accused administered slaps to the deceased is proved beyond doubt through the evidence of PW-1 purshottambhai and through the Chit at exhibit-36. As stated above, the existence of Exhibit-36, is proved beyond doubt that, the same was recovered from the person of the dead body of the deceased and was handed over to the Doctor and in turn to the police. Handwriting expert also established that the handwriting of the Chit at exhibit-36 was of the deceased. When Exhibit-36 is appreciated, it is mentioned by him that he (deceased) stated that for sitting on the scooter of the accused, accused had beaten him. This is cogent and reliable evidence as to the charge under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code against the accused. The defence could not dislodge this evidence of the prosecution. It has been supported by PW-1 Purshottambhai Hanubhai and other witnesses, who had recovered Chit at Exhibit -36 from the body of the deceased and, therefore, we found that, the charge under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code for beating and causing simple hurt to the deceased is provided beyond doubt. The evidentiary value of Exhibit-36 cannot be doubted. As appreciated earlier, in this respect, the first attempt of learned Senior counsel Mr. A. D. Shah for the appellant was to argue that the incident is not proved, and then alternatively it was argued that, even if that incident is proved of beating the deceased by the accused, it was covered by sections 88 and 89 of the Indian Penal Code because when a child is sent by his guardian or parents to a school, parents or guardian must be held to be given an implied consent to its being under the discipline and control of the school authorities and to the infliction of such reasonable punishment as may be necessary for the purposes of school discipline for correcting the child. Learned senior Counsel Mr. A. D. Shah for the appellant has relied upon a decision of the High court of Bombay in the matter of G. B. Ghatge v. Emperor, as reported in AIR (36)1949 Bombay 226 : (14949 (50) Cri LJ 789). The matter was decided on 14th of September, 1948. The second decision which is relied upon by the learned Counsel for the appellant is the decision of the Madras High court, in the matter of M. Natesan v. State of Madras, as reported at AIR 1962 Madras 216 : (1962 (1) Cri LJ 727). The learned counsel for the Appellant has also relied upon a decision of the High Court of calcutta, in the matter of Ganesh Chandra saha v. Jiwraj Somani, as reported in 1965 (1) Cri LJ 24.
(18) APART from the applicability of Sections 88 and 89 of the Indian Penal Code to the present incident, we disagree with the submission made by learned Senior Counsel mr. A. D. Shah that the act was covered by Sections 88 or 89 of the Indian Penal code. Section 88 of the I. P. Code is in respect of an act not intended to cause death, done by consent in good faith for person's benefit while Section 89 of the I. P. Code speaks of an act done in good faith for benefit of child or insane person, by or by consent of guardian. The principle which is advanced is this. That when child is sent to school, the guardian consents to reasonable corporal punishment to t
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he child. (19) CORPORAL punishment to child, in present days, with principle as advanced, is not recognized by law. It is an archaic notion that to maintain discipline, child can be punished physically by the teaching staff because of implied consent by the parents or guardian. It must be noted that the decision of the Bombay High Court in the matter of g. B Ghatge (supra) is a decision before the constitution of India came into force. We respectfully disagree with the principles laid down by the High Court of calcutta and High Court of Madras (supra). Child has human rights. Now it is recognized social principle that even parents of the child are made to understand the basic human rights of the child and instead of corporal punishment, correctional methods are recognized in law. Apart from mere indiscipline in school, by virtue of Juvenile Justice Act, if the child under the age of 18 commits any crime, and even if is convicted, the child or juvenile cannot be subjected to any sentence and, therefore, accepting the principle as has been advanced by the appellant's counsel would be to put clock back years previous. We do not accept that the accused was entitled to benefit of Sections 88 and 89 of the indian Penal, Code, as argued by learned senior Counsel Mr. A. D. Shah, for the appellant. Learned APP Mr. K. C. Shah has submitted that, it is now made very clear by the Grant-in-Aid Code Rules, 1964 by the state of Gujarat. Rule 79 of the said Code expressly prohibits teachers of grant-in-aid schools to inflict any corporal punishment to any student. We do not discuss whether the particular school in which the incident occurred was a grant-in-aid school or not, but the question is the trend of law is now changed and the colonial and ancient principles of beating by teachers to the students no more get any recognition. It is universally felt that children can be corrected by correctional measures than physical punishment and, therefore, the defence that the case was covered by exceptions, as mentioned in Sections 88 and 89 of the Indian penal Code, has no relevance at all. Consequently, we maintain the conviction of the accused under Section 323 of the of the Indian penal Code as awarded by the Trial court, but at the same time, as urged, we reduce and modify the sentence awarded by the Trial Court for this count, as the same is utterly disproportionate. (20) IN the result, this Criminal Appeal is partly allowed and the following final order is passed : i) The conclusion of the Trial Court convicting the appellant accused for the offence under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code and sentencing him as aforesaid, is set aside and the accused appellant is acquitted of the charge levelled against him under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. ii) The conclusion of the Trial Court to convict and sentence the accused for the charge levelled against him under Section 3 (2) (v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act is set aside and accused appellant is acquitted for the charge levelled against him under Section 3 (2) (v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. iii) The conclusion of the Trial Court to convict the accused appellant for the offence punishable under Section 3 (1) (x) of the scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and sentencing him for the said offence is set aside and the accused appellant is acquitted for the charges levelled against under Section 3 (1) (x)of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. iv) While maintaining the conviction awarded by the Trial Court to the accused-appellant under Section 323 of the Indian penal Code, we reduce the sentence awarded to him for the charge under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code. The Trial Court awarded sentence of one year rigorous imprisonment and to pay fine of Rs. 1. 000/-in default to undergo simple imprisonment of three months. We modify and reduce the sentence awarded to the accused - appellant by the Trial Court for the offence punishable under Section 323 of the Indian Penal Code and we sentence the accused appellant to undergo imprisonment already undergone by him which comes to five days as per the jail remarks submitted by the learned APP Mr. K. C. Shah. We also direct the accused appellant to pay fine of Rs. 1. 000/- (Rupees one thousand) in default to undergo simple imprisonment of 15 days. v) The remaining order of the Trial Court as to pay compensation to the complainant of Rs. 20,000/- is also set aside. vi) The accused appellant is on bail in pursuance of the order passed by this Court and the bail bonds submitted by the appellant stands cancelled. Appeal partly allowed.