Observing that the allegations are "absurd", the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court, earlier this month, quashed an FIR filed against a woman and her lover for allegedly abetting the suicide of her husband. The HC refused to accept the contention that just because the woman had an illicit relationship with her lover, her husband committed suicide.
A bench of Justices Vishwas Jadhav and Sandipkumar More was seized with a petition filed by the woman - Gokarna More and her alleged lover Shivaji Langar, both seeking to quash the FIR lodged against them in September 2020 for abetting the suicide of Balaji More, her husband.
As per the Latur Police, which was investigating the matter, on September 25, Balaji jumped into the well after a quarrel broke out between him and Gokarna. However, the witnesses to the incident stated that initially, Balaji, an alcoholic, often picked up quarrels with Gokarna and even doubted her chastity.
The witnesses, which also included Balaji's father, stated that on an unfortunate evening, Balaji had again picked up a quarrel with Gokarna. Her even assaulted her since he was inebriated and in this fight, he broke her Mangalsutra.
Hurt with Balaji's routine conduct, Gokarna left the house and ran towards a well in the vicinity to end her life. However, Balaji caught hold of her and said that he would also end his life along with her and embraced her and the couple fell into the well.
Balaji's father and brother too jumped into the well but could only save Gokarna and not her husband, whose body wasn't found immediately but floated up later.
Taking note of the testimony of Balaji's father and other material on record, the bench said, "Apparently it is found that only Balaji had not
jumped into the well alone but Gokarna had also fallen into the well together with him. Had she intended to abet the suicidal act of Balaji then she would not have jumped into the well with him."
"In the normal course, she would have insulted Balaji in such a manner that he would commit suicide by jumping into the well alone. Thus, the allegations about abetment of the suicidal act of Balaji are not supported by
any positive act from her side," the judges held.
As far as Langar is concerned, the bench noted that he had given a loan to Balaji. "The only allegation against
him is that he was having illicit relations with Gokarna which was not liked by the deceased and hence, the commission of suicide. However, there requires an active or direct act which led the deceased to commit suicide seeing no other option," the bench said.
"However, the allegation against Langar is so absurd that it cannot be assumed that the alleged illicit relationship between him and Gokarna could have caused abetment to the suicide of Balaji. Therefore, on careful perusal of the entire material on record, the necessary ingredients for constituting the offence of abetting suicide, are definitely missing in this case," the bench held, adding, "The allegations against the duo, prima facie appear absurd. Under
such circumstances, if the trial of this crime is allowed to continue against them, it would be an abuse of processof law."
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