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Mere utterances will not amount to abetment to suicide: Karnataka High Court

Justice M Nagaprasanna said this while quashing proceedings against the petitioner, who was accused of abetting the suicide of a junior priest, as well as the principal at a school, in Udupi district.
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 00:09 IST
Last Updated : 01 May 2024, 00:09 IST

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Bengaluru: The High Court has said that mere utterances will not amount abetment to suicide.

Justice M Nagaprasanna said this while quashing proceedings against the petitioner, who was accused of abetting the suicide of a junior priest, as well as the principal at a school, in Udupi district.

The junior priest had died by suicide on October 11, 2019. The prosecution case was that he had taken the extreme step only due to the threat words of the petitioner. The police had filed the charge sheet saying that the petitioner had threatened the Father to reveal the illicit relationship between the petitioner’s wife and the Father.

On October 11, 2019, the petitioner had called on Father’s mobile phone at around 8.30 pm and spoke for five minutes. The conversation was in relation to the WhatsApp messages that the Father had sent to the petitioner’s wife. In one of these messages, the Father had told the wife of the petitioner that he will not be alive till the date of her sister’s marriage. In the next call made by the Father, the petitioner had made a statement - “You have to hang yourself, as she is also going to hang herself.” After this, the father was found hanging in his Principal’s chamber at around 12 midnight.

‘Only vented his agony’

It was argued on behalf of the petitioner that he only vented his agony, while saying, “go and hang yourself.” It was further added that the deceased ended his life by suicide, after coming to know that somebody else has also come to know about his illicit relationship.

The court pointed out that IPC section 107 (abetment) clearly mandates that if the accused intentionally aids any act against the victim which leads to the ingredients of section 306 (abetment to suicide), then it would apply.

“If the facts obtaining in the case at hand, the complaint, the summary of the charge sheet are all considered on the touchstone of the principles laid down by the Apex Court what would unmistakably emerge is that the petitioner, the sole accused, husband of the lady with whom the deceased Father had certain relationship and had blunt out his anger and had uttered words “go and hang yourself”, cannot mean that it would become the ingredients of Section 107 of the IPC for it to become an offence under Section 306 of the IPC - abetment to suicide,” Justice Nagaprasanna said.

The court further said, “The reason for the deceased to commit suicide in the case at hand may be myriad, one of which could be the factum of him having illicit relationship with the wife of the petitioner, despite being the Father and Priest of a Church. It is trite that the human mind is an enigma and the task of unraveling the mystery of the human mind can never be accomplished.”

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Published 01 May 2024, 00:09 IST

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