Reacting indifferently to girlfriend's apprehension of being pregnant falls short of instigation or incitement to commit suicide, the Bombay High Court has said while granting bail to a man arrested for raping and abetting the suicide of his girlfriend.

The Court passed the order on August 17.

The 16-year-old girl allegedly committed suicide at her residence in Thane in March 2021 after her boyfriend (accused), then aged 19, reacted indifferently to her message to him saying she might be pregnant, according to police.

A single bench of Justice Bharati Dangre granted bail to the accused, Kunal Doke, noting that the victim's postmortem report has revealed she was not pregnant and that the sudden reaction of the accused to her news of being pregnant falls short of instigation or incitement for the victim to commit suicide.

"The Applicant, at the time of incident, was merely 19 years old and he has reacted in an indifferent manner which can be seen from the WhatsApp chat. The chat also reveals that the two were sharing proximate relationship", the Court said.

The Court held that "In order to invoke offence under Section 306 of the IPC i.e. abetment to commit suicide, it is necessary to establish its ingredients, being instigation/incitement for the deceased to commit suicide. The sudden reaction of the Applicant to the news of pregnancy, may fall short of it".

Considering the young age of the applicant, his incarceration on the completion of investigation is unwarranted, Justice Dangre said while directing that Doke be released on bail on a personal bond of Rs 25,000.

The Thane police had arrested Doke in March 2021 based on a complaint made by the victim girl's mother.

He was booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code for rape and abetment of suicide and under provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

As per the police, on March 3, 2021, the girl informed the accused on WhatsApp that she might be pregnant. When the accused reacted indifferently, the girl got upset and hanged herself at her residence.

The High Court in its order said the victim was anxious with the thought that she might be pregnant and when she noticed an unexpected response from her boyfriend (accused), she made up her mind to commit suicide.

Cause Title: Kunal Chabu Doke v. State of Maharashtra & Anr.

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs