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Merely Slapping Husband In Public By Wife Not An Instigation To Commit Suicide: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

By LawStreet News Network      30 September, 2019 11:47 AM      0 Comments
Merely Slapping Husband In Public By Wife Not An Instigation To Commit Suicide: Delhi HC [Read Judgment]

The Delhi High Court on January 8, 2019, in the case of Ms Shikha Gupta v. State (GNCT of Delhi), held that merely slapping your spouse in public does not necessarily indicate an instigation to commit suicide.

A single judge Bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva discharged the petitioner-wife of the offence under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for allegedly abetting suicide of her husband.

Background

Petitioner was wife of the deceased who committed suicide in 2015. It was alleged by the prosecution that on July 31, 2015, petitioner had slapped the deceased in front of other family members. On August 2, 2015, the deceased attempted to commit suicide and expired on the next day. Alleged suicide note was discovered from his bed. An FIR was registered as per which, the deceased committed suicide as he was very upset because he had been slapped by the petitioner in front of the family members. According to the Trial Court, there was prima facie material against the petitioner to frame a charge under Section 306 IPC. Aggrieved by the Trial Court’s order, the petitioner moved the High Court.

Findings

The High Court referred to Section 107 (abetment of a thing) IPC; and decisions in Ramesh Kumar v. State of Chhattisgarh(2001) 9 SCC 618 where Supreme Court laid down as to what conduct amounts to incitement or instigation; and Pawan Kumar v. State of H.P., (2017) 7 SCC 780 where expression “abetment” was elaborated upon.

In view of the facts of the case, the court observed that “In the present case, the allegation against the petitioner is that she had slapped the deceased 3 days prior to the deceased committing suicide. There is nothing to suggest that the petitioner instigated, conspired or aided in commission of suicide by the deceased. There is no allegation against the petitioner that the petitioner instigated or exhorted the deceased to commit suicide.”

“The allegation is that the petitioner slapped the deceased in presence of others. Even if one were to consider the incident of alleged slapping as instigation then one has to keep in mind that the alleged conduct should be such as to drive any normal prudent person into committing suicide. Mere act of slapping the husband in presence of others would not under normal circumstances instigate a husband to commit suicide,” the court said.

Further, as regards to the suicide note, the court observed that the alleged suicide note relied on by the prosecution does not refer to any incident of slapping. “Even if the suicide note was to be taken on its face value, the allegation in the suicide note does not show that any conduct per se amounts to instigation to the deceased to commit suicide,” the court noted.

Observing that there is absolutely no ground to proceed against the petitioner, the court set aside the order passed by the Trial Court holding that “for a charge to be framed not only suspicion but grave suspicion of the accused having committed the offence is necessary. The facts and allegations do not show that there is any instigation or abetment on the part of the petitioner which could have instigated the deceased to commit suicide.”

[Read Judgment]



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