Mumbai: Observing that suicidal tendencies vary from person to person, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court recently acquitted a couple, accused of abetting the suicide of their old parents.
Though the duo was accused of torturing and harassing the parents, the HC noted they had provided their parents with the required medical assistance.
A bench of Justices Pradeep Deshmukh and Pushpa Ganediwal quashed the criminal case filed against the couple, who are residents of Amravati.
The husband and wife had approached the bench seeking to quash the First Information Report (FIR) registered against them by his younger sister. The complainant had accused them of abetting the suicide of her mother and father, who were suffering from a number of ailments.
The parents, both senior citizens, had committed suicide in 2018 by consuming poison. The complainant claimed that every time she called her mother, the latter would only weep.
However, the daughter did not attribute any reason to her mother's weeping on the phone. She also claimed that the couple provoked and incited her parents to commit suicide.
In their defence, the couple claimed that the complainant did not have cordial relations with the parents and in reality, was unhappy about having received a lesser share of their estate.
Having considered the arguments, the bench said, “We think that there should be an intention to provoke, incite or encourage the doing of an act by the latter. Each person’s suicidality pattern is different from the other. Each person has his own idea of self-esteem and self-respect.”
“Therefore, it is impossible to lay down any straitjacket formula in dealing with such cases and each case has to be decided on the basis of its own facts and circumstances,” the bench observed.
The bench further said that in a case of abetment of suicide there must be a proof of direct or indirect acts of incitement to the commission of suicide.
“When the FIR as well as statements are perused, they do not spell out any of the ingredients attracting abetment of suicide as its contents do not show that applicants, in any manner, abetted or instigated deceased to commit suicide,” the judges noted.
The judges further noted the fact that the complainant did not have cordial relations with her parents as she had married against their wishes.
“In fact, from the documents, it is materially substantiated both the applicants were providing due medical treatment and taking care of the aged parents and in-laws. Thus, we can safely arrive at the conclusion that applicants are not even remotely connected with the offence of abetment,” the judges ruled.