A specific action is necessary under sec 306 of IPC and just the pressure or harassment at the workplace is not enough to prove abetment to suicide: Andhra Pradesh High Court

In the case of B.Sridevi v. the state of Andhra Pradesh(CRIMINAL PETITION NO. 4976 OF 2022), the Hon’ble Justice Subba Reddy Satti granted a pre-arrest bail to a person accused under sec 306 of IPC according to the justice mere allegation of pressure or harassment without any positive act would not be sufficient enough to prove the offense under sec 306 of IPC i.e. abetment to suicide.

Facts of the case: A complaint was filed by the wife of the deceased stating that her husband who was a worker in the Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society, was forced by the higher officers of the organization to collect loans as there seems to be a delay. And so the allegations arise wherein due to the pressure made by the accused the husband was compiled in commenting suicide. Therefore, based on the complaint the accused were charged. The counsel for the accused argued that the accused was made responsible for the alleged offense under the mistaken impression and that on the said date of the incident she and other officials of the society were on an assignment tour to represent a training program organized by the society and therefore, nothing was attributed against the petitioner, with regard to abetment or instigation made. She further explained that she is a CEO and as per procedure, the president was responsible for giving instructions to the employees and therefore she had no direct contact with the deceased who was the secretary of the society.

Judgment: The court relied on the judgment given by the apex court according to which mere allegations of harassment will not amount to an offense under sec 306 of IPC unless there is an action that compelled the victim to commit suicide. Therefore, the requirement to constitute this offense is that there must either be a direct or indirect action to urge or compel a person to commit suicide and hence “mere allegations of harassment of the deceased by another person would not be sufficient in itself, unless, there are allegations of such actions on the part of the accused which compelled the commission of suicide.”

To instigate a person to commit suicide under sec 306 is something that involves a positive act and so “Merely on the allegation of harassment without there being any positive action proximate to the time of occurrence on the part of the accused which led or compelled the person to commit suicide, conviction in terms of Section 306 of IPC is not sustainable.”

Therefore, in the given case, it is clear that there exists no instigation or abetment that the accused is guilty of which compiled to the deceased to commit suicide and hence take his own life, and so the court said that ingredients of Section 306 are prima facie not made out according to which Criminal Petition was allowed granting bail to the petitioner.

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