The Bombay High Court held that the alleged repeated monetary demands made by the daughter for her mother would fall short of the offence under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code through the learned bench consisting of Justices Manish Pitale and Govind Sanap in the case of Lata Pramod Dangre vs State of Maharashtra(CRIMINAL WRIT PETITION NO. 866 OF 2021)
FACTS OF THE CASE:
A bench of Justices Manish Pitale and Govind Sanap quashed a First Information Report (FIR) lodged against a woman for allegedly abetting the suicide of her father after she had made repeated demands for money from him for her mother, the second wife of the deceased.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by a woman, who was booked for allegedly abetting the suicide of her father. The woman, a daughter from the deceased’s second wife, was accused of making repeated monetary demands from the father, for her mother.
The father had died by suicide on September 14, 2021 and had written a suicide note in which he accused the petitioner and his second wife for mentally harassing him by making monetary demands. It cited an incident, wherein the deceased had decided to invest ₹2 lakh as a fixed deposit in the second wife’s favor.
However, the petitioner-daughter forced him to increase it to ₹5 lakh. He somehow managed to collect the amount but then the same was then increased to ₹15 lakh.
OBSERVATION OF THE COURT:
The Court held that the alleged repeated monetary demands made by the daughter for her mother would fall short of the offence under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
“It is significant that in the present case the petitioner, allegedly through her mother, was making demands towards share in the agricultural land or monetary relief from the father. We are of the opinion that such repeated demands or alleged increase in the demands cannot lead to a finding that prima facie the demands were being made with the intention of driving the father to commit suicide,” the bench said.
“The demand in itself, at worst, may have been unreasonable or a demand which the father was unable to fulfill, but it would be stretching things a bit far to reach a finding that the accused as the daughter, through her mother i.e. co-accused, intentionally acted in such a manner to drive the deceased to commit suicide. The surrounding circumstances also indicate that the deceased had two wives and children from both the wives and it cannot be said that driving the deceased to commit suicide would have led to any exclusive gain to the petitioner,” the bench opined.
the Court considered the fact that the suicide note in the instant case was written on September 9, 2021 while he died by suicide on September 14, 2021 i.e. after another five days.
“Thus, there is no proximate link between the suicide note recording harassment allegedly at the behest of the petitioner and the extreme step taken by the deceased,” the bench opined.
Therefore, the Court quashed the FIR lodged against the daughter.
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Judgement reviewed by – Sudarshana Jha