Velladurai vs State Rep. By The Inspector Of … on 14 September, 2021


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Supreme Court of India

Velladurai vs State Rep. By The Inspector Of … on 14 September, 2021

Author: M.R. Shah

Bench: M.R. Shah, A.S. Bopanna

                                                              REPORTABLE
                                   IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                                   CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
                                   CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 953 OF 2021


         Velladurai                                                …. Appellant


                                        Versus


         State represented by the Inspector of Police              … Respondent




                                              JUDGMENT

M.R. SHAH, J.

1. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment

and order dated 03.07.2019 passed by the High Court of Judicature at

Madras, Bench at Madurai in Criminal Appeal (MD) No. 417 of 2009, by

which the High Court has dismissed the said appeal preferred by the

appellant herein – original accused and has confirmed the judgment and

order of conviction passed by the learned trial Court convicting the
Signature Not Verified

accused for the offence under Section 306 IPC and sentencing him to
Digitally signed by R
Natarajan
Date: 2021.09.14
16:59:43 IST
Reason:

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undergo three years RI, the original accused has preferred the present

appeal.

2. That the appellant herein – accused married with the deceased 25

years prior to the occurrence; that out of the said wedlock, they had

three children, one married daughter PW2, living separately and their

two sons working at Chennai and Kerala. That on the day of occurrence

there was some quarrel between the deceased – wife of the accused

and the accused. That thereafter both the deceased as well as the

appellant herein consumed pesticide. However, the appellant survived,

but his wife died due to consuming the pesticide. The younger brother of

the deceased – PW1 lodged a complaint stating that the accused is

having intimacy with the other woman and therefore the couple is used

to quarrel and in this regard a panchayat was also convened by elders

prior to the occurrence and due to which on 7.5.2007 there was a quarrel

and both of them consumed pesticide and were taken to the local private

hospital and the deceased died and the accused discharged after four

days. Therefore, it was alleged against the accused that he has

committed the offence under Section 306 IPC. On conclusion of the

investigation, a chargesheet was filed against the appellant-accused for

the offence under Section 306 IPC.

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2.1 The learned trial Court convicted the accused-appellant herein for

the offence under Section 306 IPC and sentenced him to undergo 7

years RI and to pay a fine of Rs. 2500/-, in default of payment of fine,

three months simple imprisonment and also for the offence under

Section 4(b) of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act

and sentenced him to undergo three years RI and to pay a fine of

Rs.2500/-, in default of payment of fine, three months simple

imprisonment.

3. Aggrieved by the judgment of the trial Court, the appellant herein –

original accused preferred appeal before the High Court. By the

impugned judgment and order, the High Court has partly allowed the

said appeal, however, confirmed the conviction for the offence under

Section 306 IPC, but reduced the sentence to three years RI.

4. Feeling aggrieved and dissatisfied with the impugned judgment

and order passed by the High Court, the original accused has preferred

the present appeal.

5. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant has submitted that

the High Court has committed a grave error in dismissing the appeal and

confirming the judgment and order passed by the learned trial Court

convicting the accused for the offence under Section 306 IPC.

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5.1 It is further submitted that no ingredients of Section 306 IPC are at

all satisfied. It is submitted that it is not established and proved that in

fact the appellant abetted the commission of suicide. It is submitted that

it is also not in dispute that the quarrel had taken place, but at the same

time the accused also consumed pesticide along with his wife. However,

unfortunately the wife died. It is submitted that except the quarrel

between the appellant-husband and the deceased-wife on the day of

occurrence, there is no further evidence making out a case for the

offence under Section 306 IPC.

5.2 It is further submitted that even PW2, the daughter also turned

hostile and not supported the case of the prosecution.

5.3 Making the above submissions and relying upon the decisions of

this Court in the cases of Amalendu Pal v. State of West Bengal,

reported in (2010) 1 SCC 707; and Chitresh Kumar Chopra v. State

(Government of NCT of Delhi), reported in (2009) 16 SCC 605, it is

prayed to allow the present appeal and quash and set aside the

impugned judgments and orders passed by the courts below convicting

the appellant-accused for the offence under Section 306 IPC read with

Section 4(b) of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act.

6. Learned counsel appearing for the State has opposed the present

appeal. It is submitted that on the day of occurrence quarrel took place

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between the deceased and the appellant. It is submitted that even

earlier also quarrels took place as the appellant-accused was having

illicit relationship with another woman. It is submitted that because of

that there were frequent quarrels between the husband and the wife and

that is why the deceased committed suicide. It is submitted therefore in

the facts and circumstances of the case, no error has been committed by

the courts below in convicting the accused for the offence under Section

306 IPC read with Section 4(b) of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment

of Women Act.

7. We have heard the learned counsel for the respective parties at

length.

7.1 The appellant has been convicted mainly for the offence under

Section 306 IPC. It is not in dispute that the marriage between the

appellant and the deceased took place before 25 years. It is also not in

dispute that out of the said wedlock, the deceased and the appellant had

three children, residing separately. It is true that on the day of

occurrence, there was a quarrel between the deceased and the

appellant herein – accused and thereafter both, the appellant and the

deceased consumed pesticide. Even the appellant – accused also

consumed pesticide and he was hospitalised for four days and was

discharged from the hospital after four days. However, unfortunately the

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wife died. The earlier quarrels between the husband and the wife on the

allegation that the appellant-accused was having illicit relationship with

another woman has not been established and proved by the

prosecution. Even the daughter of the appellant has not supported the

case of the prosecution and turned hostile. In light of the aforesaid facts

and circumstances and the evidence on record, it is required to be

considered, whether can it be said that the appellant-accused has

committed an offence under Section 306 IPC for which he has been

convicted?

8. As observed hereinabove, the marriage between the appellant-

accused and the deceased took place before 25 years. Therefore, the

presumption under Section 113-A of the Evidence Act shall not arise.

9. Now so far as the offence under Section 306 IPC is concerned, in

a case where if any person instigates other person to commit suicide

and as a result of such instigation the other person commits suicide, the

person causing the instigation is liable to be punished for the offence

under Section 306 IPC for abetting the commission of suicide.

Therefore, in order to bring a case within the provision of Section 306

IPC, there must be a case of suicide and in the commission of the said

offence, the person who is said to have abetted the commission of

suicide must have played an active role by an act of instigating or by

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doing a certain act to facilitate the commission of suicide. As observed

and held by this Court in the case of Amalendu Pal (supra), mere

harassment without any positive action on the part of the accused

proximate to the time of occurrence which led to the suicide would not

amount to an offence under Section 306 IPC.

9.1 Abetment by a person is when a person instigates another to do

something. Instigation can be inferred where the accused had, by his

acts or omission created such circumstances that the deceased was left

with no other option except to commit suicide. In the instant case, the

allegation against the appellant is that there was a quarrel on the day of

occurrence. There is no other material on record which indicates

abetment. There is no material on record that the appellant-accused

played an active role by an act of instigating the deceased to facilitate

the commission of suicide. On the contrary, in the present case, even

the appellant-accused also tried to commit suicide and consumed

pesticide. Under the circumstances and in the facts and circumstances

of the case and there is no other material on record which indicates

abetment, both the High Court as well as the learned trial Court have

committed an error in convicting the accused for the offence under

Section 306 IPC.

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10. In view of the above and for the reasons stated above, the present

appeal succeeds. The impugned judgment and order dated 03.07.2019

passed by the High Court in Criminal Appeal (MD) No. 417/2009, as

also, the judgment and order dated 04.12.2009 passed by the learned

trial Court convicting the accused for the offence under Section 306 IPC

and Section 4(b) of Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women

Act, are hereby quashed and set aside.

11. By order dated 14.02.2020, the appellant herein-accused was

released on bail by this Court on the terms and conditions as may be

fixed by the trial Court. In view of this, his bail bonds shall stand

discharged.

12. The instant appeal is allowed in the aforesaid terms.

…………………………………..J.

                                   [M.R. Shah]


New Delhi;                         …………………………………..J.
September 14, 2021.                [Aniruddha Bose]




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