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Allahabad HC quashes abetment to suicide case but proceedings to continue in dowry case

The Court has ordered CJM Meerut to prosecute the dowry harassment while quashing the charge-sheet filed under Section 306 IPC.

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The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday held that in order to prosecute a person under Section 306 IPC for abetment to suicide, it is necessary to see whether the actions taken by the accused have abusive elements for suicide.

The Court has ordered CJM Meerut to prosecute the dowry harassment while quashing the charge-sheet filed under Section 306 IPC. This order has been given by Justice Pankaj Bhatia on the plea of ​​Anand Singh and others.

The application under Section 482 CrPC has been filed seeking interference of this Court for quashing the chargesheet dated May 7, 2010, as well as the proceedings of Case under Section 306 IPC, Police Station Partarpur, District Meerut pending before Special CJM, Meerut.

In the FIR, it was alleged that the marriage ceremony of the daughter of the informant Anu was fixed with the Applicant No. 2 and the marriage was scheduled to be held on February 16, 2010.

He is accused of putting pressure on the victim Anu and her family for marriage. It is alleged that the petitioners were demanding a heavy amount as dowry, due to which Anu set herself on fire 15 days before the wedding. She later died in Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi.

The Counsel for the applicants argued that even if assuming all the allegations to be gospel truth, no offence under Section 306 IPC can be said to be made out and as such, the chargesheet is liable to be quashed.

Counsel for the respondents has defended the chargesheet and mainly argued that from the perusal of the statements on record, it is clear that the deceased committed suicide on account of persistent demand of dowry and on account of the such persistent demand, she had no other option but to commit suicide and thus, prays that the application is liable to be dismissed.

The Counsel for the applicants submitted that for driving home a charge of abatement of suicide punishable under Section 306 IPC, it is essential that the abetment, as described under Section 107 of the IPC, should exist, failing which the chargesheet under Section 306 IPC is liable to be quashed.

He further submitted that on the basis of the statements so recorded in the chargesheet as well as in the FIR, the allegations are with regard persistent demand of dowry and nothing more or anything else and in the absence of any positive act, which led or compelled the person to commit the suicide, summoning/trial under Section 306 IPC is not possible.

The Counsel for the respondents on the other hand, stated that the Court in exercise of powers under Section 482 of the CrPC is not supposed to act as a Trial Court and is not expected to intricately discuss evidence on record in exercise of powers under Section 482 CrPC.

The Court took notice of the earlier judgment of the Supreme Court in the case of Praveen Pradhan (supra) as well as in the case of Narayan Malhari Thorat v. Vinayak Deorao Bhagat, (2019) 13 SCC 598 and while referring the scope of exercise of powers under Section 482 CrPC.

In the case, even if submissions of are taken on their face value to be gospel truth, there is nothing material or ground for even for presuming that the applicants could be held guilty for committing the offence under Section 306 IPC.

“On the basis of the facts, as discussed above and the law as referred to hereinabove, although the death of the daughter of the respondents was an unfortunate event, the material on record fall hopelessly short of any positive act as defined under Section 107 of the IPC which can even have the semblance of instigation or any conspiracy on the part of the applicants or any intentional aid for the commission of the act of suicide by the daughter of the respondents so as to frame charge under Section 306 IPC,” the Court said.

“The application is allowed and the chargesheet dated May 7, 2010 as well as proceedings of Case under Section 306 IPC, Police Station Partarpur, District Meerut pending before Special CJM, Meerut is quashed,” the Court ordered.

“However, the prima facie, disclose an offence committed by the applicants under Section 4 of Dowry Prohibition Act and read with Section 7 (1) (b) of the Dowry Prohibition Act, the Magistrate ought to have taken cognizance under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act,” the Court observed.

The Court has directed that the applicants shall be tried for offences under Section 4 of the Dowry Prohibition Act.

The applicants shall appear before the concerned Court within one month for trial in accordance with law, ordered the Court.

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