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Sunil Muneshwar Yadav & Another v/s State of Maharashtra & Another


Company & Directors' Information:- G B YADAV & COMPANY PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U63090WB1994PTC064888

Company & Directors' Information:- SUNIL & CO PVT LTD [Active] CIN = U32109WB1984PTC037810

    Criminal Application (APL) No. 817 of 2018

    Decided On, 17 July 2019

    At, In the High Court of Bombay at Nagpur

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE P.N. DESHMUKH & THE HONOURABLE MRS. JUSTICE PUSHPA V. GANEDIWALA

    For the Applicants: P.V. Navlani, Advocate. For the Respondents: R1, T.H. Udeshi, A.P.P., R2, A.S. Dhore, Advocate.



Judgment Text

Oral Judgment:(P.N. Deshmukh, J.)

1. Rule returnable forthwith. Heard by consent of learned Counsel for the respective parties.

2. This application is for quashing of F.I.R. No.561 of 2018 registered by non-applicant no.1 on the complaint of non-applicant no.2 for the offence under Section 306 r/w. 34 of the Indian Penal Code. It is the case of applicants that deceased Muneshwar Yadav and Shobha Muneshwar Yadav were parents of applicant no.1, while applicant no.2 is wife of applicant no.1. Non-applicant no.2 Shilpa Pradip Yadav is married sister of applicant no.1. At the time of incident, deceased parents of applicant no.1 and Complainant were residing with the applicants who had married in the year 2009 and the applicants used to take due care of deceased since both of them were aged and suffering from various diseases. Apart from Complainant Shilpa, deceased had elder daughter who was married and who was staying at Yavatmal. Relations between Complainant and deceased were not cordial since she had married with one Pradip Yadav of Nandura against their wish and as such, after her marriage, deceased parents had not kept relations with Complainant. According to the applicants, on this count, relations between Complainant and deceased were strained as she used to invite quarrels with them demanding partition in the immovable property. Since the deceased were suffering from various ailments and were aged people, a Will deed came to be executed by deceased Muneshwar on 8.3.2018, by which he bequeathed immovable property in favour of applicant no.1; while deceased Shobha Muneshwar Yadav, by executing Will, bequeathed one acre of agricultural land out of total land admeasuring 1 H 67 R in favour of Complainant and remaining land was distributed amongst applicant no.1 and his elder sister Sunita. It is specific case of the applicants that as Complainant was given a small share in the immovable property, she was unhappy and used to quarrel with her parents.

3. It is further case of applicants that the deceased were aged about 72 years and 62 years respectively. Deceased Muneshwar was suffering from diseases like Enophthalmos, Chronic sugar, High B.P. and other diseases and was often required to be admitted in hospital for medical treatment; while deceased Shobha was suffering from Spondylitis as well as back problem due to which she was unable to walk. Thus, according to the applicants, both the deceased were suffering from physical ailments and on 12.6.2018, they died of consuming poison. While residing with applicants, however, the deceased were occupying separate room and hence, applicant no.1 got to know about the incident on the following day when he informed police upon which Marg No.43 of 2018 came to be registered and was investigated.

4. Thus, it is specific case of applicants that since Complainant was unhappy as she was bequeathed with share less in quantity as compared to applicant no.1 and her elder sister Sunita, though she attended funeral on 12.6.2018, she did not choose to lodge report on the same day; however, lodged false report two days thereafter implicating applicants alleging that they have instigated deceased to commit suicide. It is submitted that, in fact, from the above facts it appears that non-applicant no.2 has lodged false report as her relations with her parents were strained due to her performing love marriage with Pradip Yadav against wish of her parents and secondly, for not getting immovable property equal to that of applicant no.1 and her elder sister Sunita. It is, therefore, contended that, for this reason, report is lodged, upon which offence as aforesaid is registered, which is prayed to be quashed.

5. Similar is the case of prosecution on facts as mentioned in para no.4 of it's reply, which is reproduced as below :

“4. The case of the prosecution is that, the applicant no.1 is an elder son of the deceased parents. The applicant no.1 being elder brother having two small sisters namely Sunita Pravin Yadav aged about 34 years and Shilpa Pradip Yadav aged about 28 years. The deceased parents were residing with the applicants. The applicant no.1 has married with applicant no.2 in the year 2009 and they have two daughters. The applicants were taking care of their parents. The parents being old were suffering from various diseases. The elder daughter of the deceased namely Sau. Sunita Pravin Yadav had married to Pravin Yadav in the year 2009. One Pradip Yadav of Nandura is in relation with Pravin Yadav. Pradip Yadav and small sister of applicant no.1 Shilpa had performed love marriage against the wishes of parents and because of which parents were annoyed.

Learned Additional Public Prosecutor, however, submitted that no case is made out for quashing of F.I.R.

6. In view of above rival submissions, we, at the outset, find that applicants' case of deceased having sustained physical ailments has been amply established from the medical papers placed on record wherefrom it is found that, since 2015 till March, 2018 when they committed suicide, time and again they were required to obtain medical treatment. As such, there is ample evidence to hold that both the deceased were not keeping good health. It is material to note that admittedly relations between the Complainant and deceased were not cordial as she had married against their wish. Case of applicants of both the deceased executing their Wills and bequeathing amount of share to applicant no.1, his sister Sunita and Complainant Shilpa has been further substantiated from the copies of Wills on record. In that view of the matter, applicants' case of Shilpa having got less share as compared to applicant no.1 and her elder sister Sunita is also substantiated. From the above aspect, thus strained relations between the Complainant and applicant no.1 is established and therefore, it is material to note that, after deceased committed suicide by consuming poison on 12.3.2018, though Complainant was present for funeral, She did not choose to lodge report on the same day, but had lodged the same belatedly two days thereafter.

7. Apart from above, perusal of case diary and F.I.R. would reveal that, even prior to lodging of such report, relations between non-applicant no.2 and applicant no.1 were strained and for this reason, non-applicant no.2, after death of her parents, involved applicants in the present crime alleging that, due to ill-treatment given by applicants to her parents, they have abetted commission of suicide by them. From the report, it is also noted that non-applicant no.2 since got married against wish of her parents, was not on visiting terms with them. However, when the deceased were residing in the house of applicants, Complainant's aunt namely Sangita Yadav was on visiting terms with Complainant's parents and it is alleged that, during that time, she used to call Sangita on her mobile phone and used to talk to her mother who used to cry. It is to be noted that there is no mention of reason for Complainant's mother crying on phone when she used to talk to Complainant as alleged in the report. Moreover, we do not find statement of Sangita Yadav in the case diary as produced by respondent. In that view of the matter, above aspect in the report need no further consideration.

8. From the case diary, though we find that statement of Complainant's husband Pradip Yadav is also recorded along with additional statement of Complainant, except for these statements, there are no other statements of any independent witnesses. As such, there is nothing to substantiate the case of non-applicant no.2.

9. In the case of Chitresh Kumar Chopra .vs. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi), (2009) 16 SCC 605, Hon'ble Apex Court had an occasion to deal with this aspect of abetment. The Court dealt with the dictionary meaning of the words “instigation” and “goading”. The Court opined that there should be intention to provoke, incite or encourage the doing of an act by the latter. Each person's suicidability pattern is different from the other. Each person has his own idea of self-esteem and self-respect. Therefore, it is impossible to lay down any straitjacket formula in dealing with such cases. Each case has to be decided on the basis of its own facts and circumstances.

10. By now, in a catena of judgments, the Apex Court has considered the scope and meaning of “abetment” under Sections 107 and 306 of the Indian Penal Code to find out whether the charge and conviction for an offence under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code can be sustained merely on the allegations of harassment of the deceased and whether the ingredients of abetment are attracted on the basis of the statement of the deceased.

11. In order to properly comprehend the scope and ambit of Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, it is important to carefully examine the basic ingredients of Section 306. The said Section, is reproduced, thus:

“306. Abetment of suicide.

If any person commits suicide, 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.”

“Abetment” has been defined under Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code. The said Section, is reproduced, thus :

“107. Abetment of a thing

A person abets the doing of a thing, who -

First - Instigates any person to do that thing;

or

Secondly - Engages with one or more other person or persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to the doing of that thing; or Thirdly Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing.

Explanation 1 - A person who by willful misrepresentation, or by willful concealment of a material fact which he is bound to disclose, voluntarily causes or procures, or attempts to cause or procure, a thing to be done, is said to instigate the doing of that thing.

Illustration :

A, a public officer, is authorized by a warrant from a Court of Justice to apprehend Z. B, knowing that fact and also that C is not Z, willfully represents to A that C is Z, and thereby intentionally causes A to apprehend C. Here B abets by instigation the apprehension of C.

Explanation 2 - Whoever, either prior to or at the time of the commission of an act, does anything in order to facilitate the commission of that act, and thereby facilitate the commission thereof, is said to aid the doing of that act.”

12. Thus, the offence of abetment is a separate and distinct offence provided in the Act as an offence. A person, abets the doing of a thing when he instigates any person to do that thing; or (2) engages with one or more other persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing; or (3) intentionally aids, by act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing. These things are essential to complete abetment as a crime. The word “instigate” literally means to provoke, incite, urge on or bring about by persuasion to do any thing. The abetment may be by instigation, conspiracy or intentional aid, as provided in the three clauses of Section 107. As such, in case of abetment of suicide there must be proof of direct or indirect acts of incitement to the commission of suicide.

13. After considering the above facts and legal propositions, when the F.I.R. as well as statements are perused, they do not spell out any of the ingredients attracting Section 306 of the India

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n Penal Code as from the F.I.R. it cannot be said that applicants, in any manner, abetted or instigated deceased to commit suicide. On the contrary, from the complaint as well as statements of Complainant and her husband, it is revealed that relations between the deceased and the Complainant were not cordial since Complainant had married against their wish. In fact, from the documents filed along with the application, it is materially substantiated that both the applicants were providing due medical treatment and taking care of their aged parents and in-laws respectively. In that view of the matter, we can safely arrive at the conclusion that applicants are not even remotely connected with the offence as no ingredients of “abetment” as required are attracted against them for the offence registered since it is necessary for prosecution to atleast prima facie establish that applicants had intentionally aided or abetted the deceased to commit suicide. In the absence of availability of any such material, applicants cannot be prosecuted for Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. In that view of the matter, Criminal Application is liable to be allowed. The application is accordingly allowed. Rule is made absolute in terms of prayer clause (i) of the application. No order as to costs.
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