The Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur Bench in a suicide abetment case has reiterated that words uttered in anger or at the spur of the moment cannot be termed as instigation.

Justice Sujoy Paul held that for an act to fall under the ambit of "incitement" or "instigation, the overt act of the accused must be of a nature that leaves the victim/deceased with no option but to commit suicide.

The High Court also relied on the case of Praveen Pradhan Vs. State of Uttaranchal and another, where the Apex Court had held that the offence of abetment by instigation depends upon the intention of the person who abets and not upon the act done by the person who has abetted.

The Apex Court held that words uttered in a fit of anger or omission without intention could not be termed as instigation.

Counsel Eshaan Datt and Counsel Sachin Shukla appeared for the applicants' side. Counsel AS Baghel and Counsel Raghuveer Prasad Prajapati appeared for the Respondents.

As per the prosecution's case, one of the applicants had abused and assaulted the deceased with a lathi stick, and subsequently, the deceased reported the incident to the police. It was asserted by the prosecution that the applicants pressured and threatened the dead, and resultantly, the deceased consumed a poisonous substance and died by suicide.

The District Court framed charges against the applicants under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) and Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC. Aggrieved, the applicants filed a revision petition before the High Court to question the legality, validity, and propriety of the lower Court's order.

The High Court relied on the case of Sanju @ Sanjay Singh Sengar Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, to hold that there was no element of "incitement" or "instigation" while the deceased was assaulted by means of a lathi, and therefore, Section 306 of the IPC would not be applicable.

Further, the Court also relied on the case of Gangula Mohan Reddy to hold that "The principle flowing from this judgment is that the overt act of accused person must be of a nature which leaves the victim/deceased with no option but to commit suicide. Even assuming that both the applicant Nos. 1 and 3 mounted any pressure to enter into a 'Razinama' on Moorat Singh, this does not fall within the ambit of 'incitement' or 'instigation'."

The High Court held that the act of the applicants did not sufficiently establish the necessary ingredients to attract Section 306 of the IPC. Therefore, the High Court held that the lower Court had committed an error in framing charges under Section 306 and Section 34 of the IPC.

Consequently, the High Court set aside the order passed by the District Court, and the revision petition was allowed.

Cause Title: Rajendra Singh Lodhi & Ors. v. The State of Madhya Pradesh & Anr.

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