Assignment Of Work Not Reason Enough To Cause Abetment Of Suicide

THE CASE:  The matter of concern is of Vaijnath Kondiba Khandke v. State of Maharashtra and Another , where the conduct of a superior officer is alleged to abet a suicide.  Mr. Shankar Chillarge, represented the appellant and Ms. Deepa M. Kulkarni was learned Advocate on the behalf of the State.

HELD:  It is true that if a situation is created deliberately so as to drive a person to commit suicide, there would be room for attracting Section 306 IPC.As a superior officer, if some work was assigned by the applicant to the deceased, merely on that count it cannot be said that there was any guilty mind or criminal intent. The exigencies of work and the situation may call for certain action on part of a superior including stopping of salary of a junior officer for a month. That action simplicitor cannot be considered to be a pointer against such superior officer.

FACTS OF THE CASE:  Kishor Parashar serving in the office of the Deputy Director of Education Aurangabad, committed suicide on 08.08.2017 in his house. His wife made a complaint to the police that her husband was suffering from mental torture as his higher officers were getting heavy work done from her husband which required him to work from 10.00 am to 10.00 pm; that her husband would be called at odd hours and even on holidays to get the work done; that officer named Vaijnath Kondiba Khandke (the appellant) had stopped his salary for one month and was threatening her husband that his increment would be stopped; that one of the co-worker named Ghorpade Madam used to get her work done from her husband; that because of the pressure of work her husband used to remain silent and that these two persons were responsible for the suicide committed by her husband. Pursuant to the aforesaid reporting, FIR No.268 of 2017 dated 09.08.2017 was registered against the appellant and one Vidya Ghorpade under Sections 306, 506 read with Section 34 IPC with Police Station MIDC, CIDCO, Aurangabad.

HC JUDGMENT: The applications preferred by the applicants for anticipatory bail were accepted with certain conditions. The applications preferred under Section 482 Cr.P.C. were thereafter taken up for hearing. The High Court accepted the plea made by Vidya Ghorpade and quashed the proceedings against her. However, Criminal Application No.4724 of 2017 preferred by the appellant was dismissed by the High Court vide its judgment and order dated 23.01.2018 which is presently under appeal.

SC JUDGMENT: The SC referred to the case of Madan Mohan Singh v. State of Gujarat and another[2] wherein it was held that” this Court held that there must be allegations to the effect that the accused had either instigated the deceased in some way to commit suicide or had engaged with some other person in conspiracy to do so or that the accused had in some way aided any act or illegal omission to bring about the suicide.”

Supreme Court further observed” There is no suicide note left behind by the deceased and the only material on record is in the form of assertions made by his wife in her reporting to the police. It is true that if a situation is created deliberately so as to drive a person to commit suicide, there would be room for attracting Section 306 IPC. However, the facts on record in the present case are completely inadequate and insufficient.” “As a superior officer, if some work was assigned by the applicant to the deceased, merely on that count it cannot be said that there was any guilty mind or criminal intent”.

Thus, the proceedings were quashed.

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