Mumbai: Acquitting a man convicted for abetting the suicide of his son, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has held a father's drinking habit could not be an abetting factor for his child's death. Further, the court said it was natural for a child to be under mental stress if their mother is mentally disturbed.
The son was a minor at the time he hanged himself in his bedroom and left a note, saying he was fed up of his father's drinking habit.
A bench of Justice V M Deshpande, however, held that mere drinking could not be an abetting factor for a person to commit suicide.
The bench was dealing with a plea filed by a man challenging a 2015 order of a trial court convicting him for abetting the suicide of his son. In his suicide note, the son had also claimed that he was deprived of basic amenities.
Having considered the material on record, the bench noted that the child's mother was a pyschotic patient and had been under treatment for years together.
“It is an admitted position on record that the mother of the deceased was mentally disturbed for long. If that be so, if his mother is mentally disturbed, her child would also be under mental stress and, in my view, this is the most natural phenomenon,” Justice Deshpande opined.
“Therefore, the deceased used to be depressed always. Different persons may react differently to the same situation,” the court added.
The bench then perused the suicide note, wherein the deceased had named his father and the latter's drinking habit and the fact that he (the deceased) was allegedly deprived of basic amenities.
“Therefore, merely because the deceased blamed the drinking habit of his father, in my view, it cannot be treated as an abetment, especially when the prosecution failed to show that he was ill-treated by his father and this drove him to take the extreme step,” Justice Deshpande said.
“In my view, the trial court got swayed by the fact that the deceased boy was required to commit suicide for an admitted position that the father was a drunkard. Merely drinking can never be an abetment for a person to commit suicide,” Justice Deshpande added.