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Accused will not be liable for abetment of suicide, if the complainant feeling insulted takes hasty decision to commit suicide: Andhra Pradesh High Court

This particular decision is upheld by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh through the learned bench led by HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE Cheekati Manavendranath Roy in the case of Vegulla Leela Krishna v. State of Andhra Pradesh (CRIMINAL PETITION No.6915 of 2021)

Facts:

The facts of the case are such that the petitioner is the sole accused in a case under Sections 323, 306 r/w 116 Penal Code, 1860 i.e. IPC was registered against him. The prosecution story is that on 15-05-2020 at about 5.30 A.M., when the de facto complainant was collecting aaseelu at the High School ground from the vegetable vendors, the petitioner questioned the de facto complainant as to why he is collecting excess rate of aaseelu and when the de facto complainant replied that he is collecting the aaseelu at the rate fixed by the concerned authorities, the petitioner beat the de facto complainant in front of the public in the market and insulted him. Therefore, having felt insult, the de facto complainant consumed the ant poison by mixing the same in water with an intention to commit suicide but was rescued and subsequently survived after medical treatment.  A case under Sections 323, 306 r/w 116 IPC was registered. Hence, instant criminal Petition under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 was filed seeking to quash F.I.R.

Judgement:

Counsel for petitioner Mr. P Rajesh Babu submitted that that the facts of the case do not constitute any offence punishable under Section 306 IPC as there is no allegation that the petitioner has instigated or abetted the de facto complainant to commit any suicide. So, he would submit the prosecution of the petitioner under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC is not maintainable and no such offence is constituted in the facts and circumstances of the case.

The Public Prosecutor submitted that when the de facto complainant has consumed ant poison with an intention to commit suicide on account of the fact the petitioner beat him in front of the public and insulted him and as he survived because of the medical treatment provided to him, an offence punishable under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC is made out from the facts of the case and the petitioner is liable for prosecution for the said offence. Therefore, he would pray for dismissal of the Criminal Petition.

The Court observed that it is a well settled law that in order to constitute an offence punishable under Section 306 IPC, the necessary ingredients contemplated under Section 107 IPC regarding intentional instigation said to have been given by the petitioner to the de facto complainant to commit suicide or intentional aid said to have been given by the petitioner to him to commit suicide shall be established. There is absolutely no allegation as can be seen from the facts of the prosecution case that the petitioner has either instigated or aided him to commit suicide. Hence, prima facie no offence punishable under Section 306 IPC itself is made out from the facts of the case. Consequently, no offence punishable under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC is also made out from the facts of the case.

The Court further observed that if the de facto complainant feels insulted as he was beaten in front of the public in the market and if he takes any hasty decision to commit suicide, the petitioner cannot be held responsible for any such decision taken by the de facto complainant to commit suicide.

The Court stated that the facts of the case clearly show that the petitioner has beaten the de facto complainant. So, it prima facie constitutes an offence punishable under Section 323 IPC. So, the entire F.I.R cannot be quashed and it can be quashed only in respect of the offence registered under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC.

The Court held “the Criminal Petition is partly allowed quashing the F.I.R for the offence punishable under Section 306 r/w 116 IPC. As regards the offence punishable under Section 323 is concerned, the F.I.R holds good and the law has to take its own course in respect of the said offence.”

Judgement reviewed by – Arvind Roshan

Click here to view the judgement

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