While refusing to dismiss a case of abetment of suicide against an accused, the Karnataka High Court noted that perception of threatening words varies from person to person, and thus it would not be appropriate in the facts of the case to dismiss the FIR without a full-fledged trial.
In the case of V Srinivasaraju v State by Yelahanka Police (Criminal Petition No 4770 of 2015), a single judge bench led by Honourable Justice K Natarajan observed, “It all depends on how they handle the situation. Some people may not take someone who scolds or blames using abusive and filthy language seriously, but some people who are sensitive take it very seriously… A court cannot take a stale sentence and conclude that there is no abetment of suicide…so many facts must be considered in order to attract Section 107 of the IPC for abetment of suicide… As a result, without a trial, this Court cannot appreciate or re-appreciate any documents or evidence for the purpose of exercising power under section 482 of the Cr.P.C.”
Facts of the case:
V Srinivasaraju, the petitioner, was accused of harassing a couple in connection with allegations of encroaching on government land. The Petitioner allegedly threatened the Respondent with dire consequences. He also gave an interview on TV9 channel, during which he referred to the respondent as ‘Punda Pokri’ without justification. This was witnessed by his wife and numerous friends and relatives, who called the couple and inquired about the incident, causing them mental anguish.
The complainant claimed that this left his wife mentally weakened and drove her to commit suicide.
Thus, a complaint was filed under Sections 500 of the IPC as well as Sections 306, 504, 506, 499, and 500 of the IPC.
The Petitioner claimed that the land in question was legally purchased, and the High Court agreed in a writ petition that there is no question of encroachment. He had casually stated that a ‘Punda Pokri’ had filed a complaint against him and that his intention was not to insult the complainant.
Furthermore, the complainant’s wife committed suicide after only 15 days. As a result, there is no proximity of time and the petitioner’s alleged abetment of suicide.
After reviewing both parties’ submissions, the bench concluded that the police had filed a charge sheet following a thorough investigation. As a result, without a trial, the Court cannot go into document evaluation on merits at this stage.
“Without a doubt, the learned counsel for the petitioner contends, merely mentioning ‘Punda Pokri’ is not an offense, nor will it aid the complainant’s wife in committing suicide, nor will it defame the complainant in the eyes of the public, but it all depends on how they pursue the matter. Some people may not take it seriously if someone scolds or blames them using abusive and filthy language, but sensitive people take it very seriously.”
It stated that at this point, it cannot be stated that the ‘word’ will not defame the complainant without a trial. As a result, the petitioner counsel’s contention that the word ‘Punda-Pokri’ will not trigger Section 500 of the IPC cannot be accepted.
“Therefore, in my considered opinion, both matters require trial, and if the petitioner has any defense, he is permitted to present all contentions before the Trial Court,” it said. As a result, this Court cannot stay the petitioner’s criminal proceedings at this time.”
Judgement Reviewed By Manju Molakalapalli.