Bengaluru: The Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, which is abetment to suicide, is one of the most mentioned sections against married men in cases of women committing suicide following allegations of dowry harassment, domestic violence and others. At the same time, cases of married women facing such charges are less. In one such case, a 24-year-old woman had approached the High Court seeking to quash the entire proceedings registered against her for offences punishable under Sections 306 (abetment to suicide), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) and 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke
breach of peace) read with Section 34.
But the court dismissed her plea, observing, “It may not be proper on the part of this court to quash the proceedings when the matter is set down for evidence before the trial court. Whether instigation was there or other things as argued by the advocate have to be considered by the trial court during the course of evidence.” When it was argued that she has been selected for the post of sub-inspector in the police department, the court ordered that it is necessary for the trial court to expedite the trial and dispose of the case as expeditiously as possible, preferably within six months.
The woman, who is the petitioner before the High Court, got married in 2011. Later, there were domestic disputes between the deceased husband and wife. The wife suspected that the husband was impotent and on these grounds, it is alleged, she was ill-treating and harassing the husband. In 2013, the two families quarrelled with each other, sustained injuries and filed complaints against each other. Complaint and counter-complaint were registered, including allegations against the wife of ill-treating and harassing the deceased and as well as she trying to defame him at the police station. The wife (petitioner) also alleged that the husband had posted her photographs on websites. It was alleged that the deceased was frustrated because of the harassment and ill-treatment by his wife and hanged himself in his house, which led to filing of one more complaint by the relatives of the deceased.
The accused have tried to get a discharge by filing applications, but the sessions court has rejected them. The petitioner’s advocate submitted before the HC that there is no nexus between the act of the accused and the alleged suicide. The prosecution argued that the matter has already been posted for evidence and the trial court has already come to the conclusion that there are materials to frame charges and proceed against the accused.
“In this particular case, what was the relationship between the husband and wife and what was the allegations made against this petitioner from the date of their marriage... all those things have to be taken into consideration to ascertain whether the act of the petitioner was so sufficient to drive a person to
commit suicide," the court ordered. It further held that when the facts are hazy, the court should not quash such proceedings. “The court is of the opinion that there is no such strong material to come to a definite conclusion at this stage that the complaint has been made with a vengeance and without any basis. Hence, I do not find any strong reasons to quash the proceedings. Accordingly, the petition is dismissed,” the judge said.