Boss not liable for employee's suicide sans evidence: SC

A bench of Justices V S Sirpurkar and Cyriac Joseph said: “Insofar as Section 306 IPC is concerned, even at the cost of repetition, we may say that merely because a person had a grudge against his superior officer and committed suicide on account of that grudge, even honestly feeling that he was wronged, it would still not be a proper allegation for basing the charge under Section 306 IPC.’’

The bench observed that there has to be clear evidence to say that the accused had instigated or conspired with someone to abet the suicide, otherwise the prosecution could not initiate proceedings against the higher officer.

Section 306 refers to the abetment of suicide which carries a punishment of imprisonment up to 10 years if proven in the court of law.

“It will still fall short of a proper allegation. It would have to be objectively seen whether the allegations made could reasonably be viewed as proper allegations against the appellant/ accused to the effect that he had intended or engineered the suicide of the concerned person by his acts, words etc. When we put the present FIR on this test, it falls short,” the court observed.

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