The Madhya Pradesh High Court held that if a wife does not prepare food on time, compels husband to do mopping, cleaning, and washing clothes, cannot be regarded as an abetment to suicide.

The Jabalpur Bench of the Court held thus in a criminal revision filed by the wife under Sections 397 and 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) against the order of the Sessions Judge by which charge under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was framed against her.

A Single Bench of Justice Gurpal Singh Ahluwalia observed, “Not preparing the food in time, compelling the husband to do the work of mopping, cleaning as well as washing clothes, dancing in the marriage of her own brother, compelling the deceased to immediately go back to their place of resident i.e. Pali Project and going to the market along with other persons for shopping purposes, cannot be said to be an abetment.”

Advocate Sourabh Singh Thakur represented the applicant while Panel Lawyer Dilip Parihar represented the respondents.

Factual Background -

The applicant was the wife of the deceased husband and the respondent was her mother-in-law. The husband committed suicide by hanging himself in his Government accommodation and Marg enquiry under Section 174 of CrPC was registered. The dead body was sent for post-mortem and an FIR was registered against the applicant/wife for offence under Section 306 of IPC. The primary allegations against her were that the husband got an appointment in 2014 on compassionate ground on account of death of his father. He got married to the applicant in 2016 and when she came back to her matrimonial house for the second time, it was alleged that her behaviour towards in-laws was not good. She was residing along with the deceased in Government accommodation and not used to prepare food for him on time.

Sometimes her husband was compelled to go on duty without having any meals. She also used to go to market along with other persons for shopping purposes and when the deceased resisted to such conduct, she used to pick up quarrel with him. In spite of her presence in the house, the deceased was compelled to do mopping, cleaning, and washing of clothes. She also objected against the fact that he was giving Rs. 10,000/- per month to his mother. When he objected to her dance in her elder brother’s marriage, she quarrelled with him. Few days later, the applicant informed her brother-in-law on husband’s mobile phone that he was no more as he committed suicide by hanging himself. Hence, it was alleged that he committed suicide due to abetment by the wife.

The High Court in the above context of the case noted, “The allegations which have been made against the applicant are of trivial in nature which generally took place in every house. Even counsel for the complainant could not point out that even if the entire allegations which have been made against the applicant are treated as true, then how the offence under Section 306 of IPC would be made out. Even counsel for the State could not point out that how the ingredients of abetment can be inferred in the light of allegations made against the applicant.”

The Court said that even if the entire allegations are accepted, it cannot be presumed that there was any instigation on the part of the applicant and in cases of abetment of suicide, there must be proof of direct or indirect acts or incitement of commission of suicide.

“Acts involve multifaceted and complex attributes of human behaviour and reactions or in the cases of abetment, Court must look for cogent and convincing proof of acts of incitement of commission of suicide. Instigation means to goad, urge forward, provoke, incite, urge or encourage to do an act”, it added.

Accordingly, the High Court allowed the criminal revision, set aside the impugned order, and discharged the applicant.

Cause Title- Nisha Saket v. State of Madhya Pradesh & Anr.


Applicant: Advocate Sourabh Singh Thakur

Respondents: Panel Lawyer Dilip Parihar and Advocate Ranno Rajak.

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