‘Threatening’ can’t be termed as ‘abetment’: Madhya Pradesh High Court

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“Threatening” cannot be termed as "abetment", held a single bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Representational image.

‘Threatening’ cannot be termed as “abetment”, held a single bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court and discharged a woman of abetment to suicide charge and quashed the proceedings against her in a trial court.

In an order issued on March 3, Justice Anjuli Palo observed that ‘threatening’ may be the cause for committing suicide, but it is not covered under the term of abetment.

“If the deceased was blackmailed by the petitioner, he had the remedy to lodge a report against her,” the court said.

The petitioner was having an extra-marital affair with a man and was accused of compelling him to marry her, which he refused, government counsel Papiya Ghosh said on Thursday.

The petitioner woman had allegedly blackmailed and threatened him that if he does not marry her, she would lodge a complaint against him and his family members and implicate them in false cases, the government counsel said.

Criminal proceedings challenged

In the meantime, the accused forcibly entered her lover’s home on January 17, 2020, and after opposition from his family members, left the house, but again came there on January 26 and stayed till January 28, when the victim killed himself, Papiya Ghosh said.

An FIR was registered against the woman under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC at Bargi police station in Jabalpur district, the government counsel said.

“The petition filed by the woman challenged the criminal proceedings against her on the grounds that there was no direct or indirect instigation by her and the deceased had other remedies to resolve his problem,” Papiya Ghosh said.

And, the court allowed the petition on March 3, 2021, in view of the principle laid down by the Apex Court in cases related to such matters, the counsel said.

Justice Palo in the order said, “For the conviction of a person under section 306 of the IPC, there has to be a clear mens rea (guilty mind) to commit the offence,” the court order said. “It also requires an active act or direct act, which lead the deceased to commit suicide seeing no option and this act must have been intended to push the deceased into such a position that he committed suicide,” the order stated.

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