Sunday, 14 August 2016

Prosecution for offence of abetment of suicide is quashed against Judicial officer

As has been held by Their Lordships of the Apex Court
that for permitting a trial to proceed against the accused for the
offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, it is
necessary for the prosecution to at least prima facie establish that
the accused had an intention to aid or instigate or abet the
deceased to commit suicide. In the absence of availability of such
material, the accused cannot be compelled to face trial for the
offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. As
has been held by Their Lordships of the Apex Court that abetment
involves mental process of instigating a person or intentionally
aiding a person in doing of a thing and without a positive act on the
part of the accused in aiding or instigating or abeting the deceased
to commit suicide, the said persons cannot be compelled to face
the trial. Unless there is clear mens rea to commit an offence or
active act or direct act, which led the deceased to commit suicide
seeing no option or the act intending to push the deceased into
such a position, the trial against the accused under Section 306 of
the Indian Penal Code, in our considered view, would be an abuse
of process of law.
21. No doubt that the judiciary has lost one of its officers in
an unfortunate incident. However, as held by the Hon'ble Supreme
   
Court, the response of a person to a situation may differ from a
person to person. A person, who is sensitive, may be hurt if the
things do not happen as per his wish and may unfortunately
commit an act, which leads to his death. No doubt, our all
sympathies are with the family of the Judicial Officer, who lost his
life in prime age. However, can that be said to be sufficient to
prosecute the other Judicial Officers, for no fault of theirs. As
already discussed hereinabove, except applicant no.1, there is not
even whisper in the affidavit of the non-applicant no.2 insofar as
the other applicants are concerned. Even the allegations against
the applicant no.1 are with regard to discharge of his official duties.
As pointed out hereinabove, it cannot also be a case of harassment
inasmuch as the deceased was the junior most Judicial Officer in
the cadre of Civil Judge Senior Division and transferring him out of
the District headquarters to another place in the same district,
cannot be said to be an act by the applicant no.1 causing
harassment to the deceased. If the deceased had any grievance
against his superiors, it was always open for him to approach the
learned Guardian Judge of the District or Registry of this Court.
22. In any case, the transfer of the deceased from Yavatmal
to Darwha had taken place on 01.10.2015. The workshop, in which
it is alleged that the applicant no.1 had ill-treated the deceased,
had taken place on 14.02.2016 and the unfortunate incident of
suicide has taken place on 06.03.2016. Thus, it can be clearly

seen that even the causes of action, which are attributed as an
abetment to commit suicide are also far remote from the date of
death of the deceased. As already discussed hereinabove, in the
case of Sanju @ Sanjay Sengar, the allegation that you go and die
and the deceased committing suicide after 48 hours, was found to
have no nexus with the suicide.
23. In that view of the matter, we are of the considered view
that continuation of criminal proceedings against the present
applicants would result in an abuse of process of law and as such
we are inclined to allow the application.
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY
NAGPUR BENCH : NAGPUR
CRIMINAL APPLICATION [APL] NO. 332 OF 2016

1] Dilip S/o Ramrao Shirasao,
Aged about 59 years, Occu. Service.
2] Sachin Manoharrao Agarkar,
Aged 49 years, Occu. Service,
3] Durgadas Nivrutti Khadse,
Aged 52 years, Occu. Service,
4] Himmat Laxman Manwar,
Aged about 50 years, Occu. Service.
5] Ravindra Padmakarrao Deshpande,
Aged 53 years, Occu. Service
All resident of Yavatmal,
Tah. and Dist. Yavatmal. .. APPLICANTS
.. Versus ..
1] State of Maharashtra,
Through Police Station Officer,
 Chandur Railway Police Station,
Tal. Chandur Railway, Dist. Amravati.
2] Amol S/o Dinkar Jawalkar,
Aged about 37 years, Occu. Not known,
R/o Pimpri Meghe,
Tah. & Dist. Wardha. .. NON-APPLICANTS

CORAM : B.R. Gavai & V. M. Deshpande, JJ.
DATED : August 05, 2016.



1. Rule. Rule made returnable forthwith. Heard finally by
consent of learned counsel appearing for the parties.
2. We have to deal with this unfortunate case wherein four
Judicial Officers of the Maharashtra State judiciary from Yavatmal
district, including the Principal District Judge of the said district,
have approached this Court praying for quashing and setting aside
the first information report for the offence punishable under Section
306 of the Indian penal Code, alleging that they are responsible for
the suicide committed by another Judicial Officer.
3. The facts in brief giving rise to the present application
are as under :
Applicant no.1 is a senior Judicial Officer and presently
posted as the Principal District Judge of Yavatmal district. Applicant
no.2 is also in the cadre of Civil Judge, Senior Division and presently
working as a Secretary of District Legal Services Authority at
Yavatmal. The other three applicants are also working as Civil
Judge, Senior Division at Yavatmal. A judicial officer namely Anup
Jawalkar was posted at Yavatmal as Civil Judge, Senior Division on
02.08.2014. Subsequently, he was transferred at Darwha within
  
the same district on the same post on 01.10.2015. The dead body
of said Anup Jawalkar was found at a place near Chandur Railway in
Amravati district on railway track on 06.03.2016. Accordingly,
accidental death (AD) case came to be registered by Chandur
Railway police station. However, subsequently, non-applicant no.2
contending that when the articles of the deceased were shifted to
Pune, a suicide note was found wherein it was alleged that the
present applicants were responsible for suicide of the deceased,
lodged a report against the present applicants with Chandur-railway
Police Station. On the basis of said oral report, an offence
punishable under Section 306 read with Section 34 of the Indian
Penal Code came to be registered vide Crime No. 113 of 2016 on
07.04.2016.
4. The present applicants have, therefore, approached this
Court by way of present application under Section 482 of the Code
of Civil Procedure for quashing the criminal proceedings. Vide order
dated 04.05.2016, this Court issued notice to the respondents and
accordingly replies are filed by both the respondents.
5. Mr. Anil Mardikar, the learned senior counsel appearing
on behalf of the applicants submits that even taking the allegations
in the complaint lodged by the non-applicant no.2 and the suicide
note at its face value, no case is made out for the offence
punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code so far as

present applicants are concerned. He submits that the only
allegation, as could be found from the affidavit filed by the nonapplicant
no.2, is that the wife of deceased was informed about the
alleged harassment by the applicant no.1. He submits that the
respondent no.2 does not have personal knowledge and the
affidavit filed by him is only on the basis of hearsay material. In
any case, he submits that even taking the allegations at its face
value, at the most what could be attributed is that the applicant
no.1, in discharge of his official duties, had done some act or
omissions on account of which, the deceased was aggrieved.
However, he submits that even taking the same to be true in
entirety, the same cannot be said to be an instigation to commit
suicide so as to bring the matter within the scope of Section 306 of
the Indian Penal Code.
6. The learned senior counsel submits that in any case, the
said allegations are also without any substance. He submits that as
a matter of fact, there was no case of harassment in transferring
the deceased to Darwha. He submits that the deceased was the
junior most Judicial Officer in the cadre of Civil Judge Senior Division
and as such he was transferred to Darwha. He submits that it was
not the case of pick and choose. He further submits that the
allegation that the applicant no.1 ill-treated the deceased in the
workshop is also without substance. He submits that in any case, if
the deceased had any grievance against the present applicants, he

could have very well made a representation either to the Hon'ble
Guardian Judge of said district or to the Registry of this Court. The
learned senior counsel, therefore, submits that the allegations
made against the applicants are by way of an after thought. The
learned senior counsel further submits that in any case insofar as
applicant nos.2 to 4 are concerned, there is not even a whisper
against them in the affidavit of non-applicant no.2.
7. Mr. Bhoyar, the learned counsel appearing for the nonapplicant
no.2 submits that the material placed on record would
show that harassment by the applicants was to such an extent that
the deceased was left with no other alternative but to give an end
to his life. The learned counsel submits that the deceased was
sincere, hardworking and devoted Judicial Officer and putting a blot
on his career and transferring him in the mid term, caused a great
mental turbulence to him, which led to commission of suicide. The
learned counsel submits that it is all done by the applicant no.1 and
rest of the applicants have abetted him. It is, therefore, submitted
that no case is made out for quashing and setting aside of the
charge sheet.
8. Mr. Pathan, the learned Additional Public Prosecutor
submits that the investigation is almost complete. He submits that
from the perusal of the statement of the witnesses recorded, it
cannot be said that the first information report is wholly
unsustainable.

9. The learned Additional Public Prosecutor as well as Mr.
Bhoyar, the learned counsel, appearing for the non-applicant nos.1
and 2 submit that the application deserves to be dismissed.
10. The investigation is almost complete. The learned
Additional Public Prosecutor has placed on record the entire papers
of investigation before us.
11. The law as to what are the requirements to constitute an
offence punishable under Section 306 of the IPC is no more res
integra. The law is very well crystalized by the Hon'ble Apex Court
in the catena of cases including in the cases of Sanju alias Sanjay
Singh Sengar .vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, reported in 2002
Cri.L.J. 2796 ; Madan Mohan Singh .vs. State of Gujrat and
another, reported in (2010) 8 SCC 628 ; and in the case of S.S.
Chheena .vs. Vijay Kumar Mahajan reported in 2010 All MR
(Cri) 3298 (S.C.).
12. In the case of Sanju @ Sanjay Sengar cited supra, the
appellant before the Apex Court was the brother of Neelam wife of
deceased Chander Bhushan @ Babloo. It was the prosecution case
that after marriage of Neelam with the deceased, there was
continuous ill-treatment by the deceased and his family members
to Neelam. As such she had gone to her parents house and started
living with her brother, the appellant before the Apex Court. About

two months prior to the incident, the appellant advised the
deceased to take his sister back to her matrimonial house and treat
her properly. It was the prosecution case that on 25th July, 1998,
the appellant visited the place of the parents of the deceased and
pleaded with them that his sister should be rehabilitated in the
matrimonial home and should not be physically ill-treated or
harassed. It was also the prosecution case that on that day the
appellant also said to have threatened the parents of the deceased
that if they do not mend their behaviour towards his sister, he
would be compelled to resort to filing a complaint under Section
498-A of the Indian Penal Code. On this, the parents of the
deceased expressed helplessness. It was the further prosecution
case that the parents of the deceased informed the deceased about
the same. He went to the house of parents of the appellant, where
quarrel took place between them. Therefore, the deceased
returned alone and told his brothers and other acquaintances that
the appellant had threatened and abused him by using filthy words.
On the next date i.e. on 27th July, 1998, the deceased was found
hanging with a rope by neck on the raft of his house and he was
found dead. A suicide note was left by the deceased. On the basis
of the said suicide note, the charge-sheet was filed against said
Sanju alias Sanjay Sengar. A petition challenging filing of chargesheet
was filed before the High Court under Section 482 of the
Code of Criminal Procedure. The same was rejected. Hence, said
Sanju alias Sanjay Sengar approached the Hon'ble Apex Court.

13. The Apex Court in Sanju @ Sanjay Sengar's case
considered the earlier judgments in paragraphs 9 to 12 of the said
judgment. It would be appropriate to refer to the same -
“9. In Swamy Prahaladdas v. State of M.P. & Anr. ,
1995 Supp. (3) SCC 438, the appellant was charged
for an offence under Section 306 I.P.C. on the ground
that the appellant during the quarrel is said to have
remarked the deceased 'to go and die' . This Court
was of the view that mere words uttered by the
accused to the deceased 'to go and die' were not
even prima facie enough to instigate the deceased to
commit suicide.
10. In Mahendra Singh v. State of M.P., 1995
Supp.(3) SCC 731, the appellant was charged for an
offence under Section 306 I.P.C basically based upon
the dying declaration of the deceased, which reads
as under:
"My mother-in-law and husband and sister-in-law
(husband's elder brother's wife) harassed me.
They beat me and abused me. My husband
Mahendra wants to marry a second time. He has
illicit connections with my sister-in-law. Because
of those reasons and being harassed I want to die
by burning."
11. This Court, considering the definition of
'abetment' under Section 107 I.P.C., found that the
charge and conviction of the appellant for an offence
under Section 306 is not sustainable merely on the

allegation of harassment to the deceased. This Court
further held that neither of the ingredients of
abetment are attracted on the statement of the
deceased.
12. In Ramesh Kumar V. State of Chhattisgarh
(2001) 9 SCC 618, this Court while considering the
charge framed and the conviction for an offence
under Section 306 I.P.C. on the basis of dying
declaration recorded by an Executive Magistrate, in
which she had stated that previously there had been
quarrel between the deceased and her husband and
on the day of occurrence she had a quarrel with her
husband who had said that she could go wherever
she wanted to go and that thereafter she had poured
kerosene on herself and had set fire. Acquitting the
accused this Court said :
"A word uttered in a fit of anger or emotion
without intending the consequences to actually
follow cannot be said to be instigation. If it
transpires to the court that a victim committing
suicide was hypersensitive to ordinary petulance,
discord and difference in domestic life quite
common to the society to which the victim
belonged and such petulance, discord and
difference were not expected to induce a similarly
circumstanced individual in a given society to
commit suicide, the conscience of the court should
not be satisfied for basing a finding that the
accused charged for abetting the offence of
suicide should be found guilty."

14. After considering the earlier judgments, Their Lordships
observed thus at paragraph 13 -
“13. …....... It is in a fit of anger and emotional.
Secondly, the alleged abusive words, said to have been
told to the deceased were on 25th July, 1998 ensued by
quarrel. The deceased was found hanging on 27th July,
1998. Assuming that the deceased had taken the abusive
language seriously, he had enough time in between to
think over and reflect and, therefore, it cannot be said
that the abusive language, which had been used by the
appellant on 25th July, 1998 drived the deceased to
commit suicide. Suicide by the deceased on 27th July,
1998 is not proximate to the abusive language uttered
by the appellant on 25th July, 1998. The fact that the
deceased committed suicide on 27th July, 1998 would
itself clearly pointed out that it is not the direct result of
the quarrel taken place on 25th July, 1998 when it is
alleged that the appellant had used the abusive
language and also told the deceased to go and die. This
fact had escaped notice of the courts below.
15. Their Lordships of the Apex Court further have
reproduced the suicide note in the said case in paragraph 14 of the
judgment, wherein Sanjay Sengar was directly implicated to be the
person responsible for suicide of the deceased. After reproducing
the said suicide note, Their Lordships observed thus at
paragraph 15 -
“15. …..... The prosecution story, if believed, shows
that the quarrel between the deceased and the
appellant had taken place on 25th July, 1998 and if

the deceased came back to the house again on 26th
July, 1998, it cannot be said that the suicide by the
deceased was the direct result of the quarrel that
had taken pace on 25th July, 1998. Viewed from the
aforesaid circumstances independently, we are
clearly of the view that the ingredients of 'abetment'
are totally absent in the instant case for an offence
under Section 306 I.P.C. …....”
After these observations, Their Lordships allowed the appeal and
quashed and set aside the charge-sheet.
 16. In the case of Madan Mohan Singh (cited supra), the
petitioner was working as a DET in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. The
deceased i.e. Deepakbhai Krishnalal Joshi has committed suicide.
On the basis of complaint filed by his wife, an FIR came to be
registered. The petitioner had applied for discharge. The trial Court
rejected it. The Gujarat High Court upheld the order of the trial
Judge. Being aggrieved thereby the petitioner has approached the
Apex Court. The prosecution heavily relied on the suicide note of
the deceased wherein it was stated that the petitioner was
responsible for his death. The Apex Court negating the contention
on behalf of prosecution observed thus:-
"10. We are convinced that there is absolutely
nothing in this suicide note or the FIR which would
even distantly be viewed as an offence much less
under Section 306 IPC. We could not find anything in
the FIR or in the so-called suicide note which could be

suggested as abetment to commit suicide. In such
matters there must be an allegation that the accused
had instigated the deceased to commit suicide or
secondly, had engaged with some other person in a
conspiracy and lastly, that the accused had in any
way aided any act or illegal omission to bring about
the suicide.
11. In spite of our best efforts and microscopic
examination of the suicide note and the FIR, all that
we find is that the suicide note is a rhetoric document
in the nature of a departmental complaint. It also
suggests some mental imbalance on the part of the
deceased which he himself describes as depression.
In the so- called suicide note, it cannot be said that
the accused even intended that the driver under him
should commit suicide or should end his life and did
anything in that behalf. Even if it is accepted that the
accused changed the duty of the driver or that the
accused asked him not to take the keys of the car
and to keep the keys of the car in the office itself, it
does not mean that the accused intended or knew
that the driver should commit suicide because of this.
12. In order to bring out an offence under Section
306 IPC specific abetment as contemplated by
Section 107 IPC on the part of the accused with an
intention to bring about the suicide of the person
concerned as a result of that abetment is required.
The intention of the accused to aid or to instigate or
to abet the deceased to commit suicide is a must for
this particular offence under Section 306 IPC. We are
of the clear opinion that there is no question of there

being any material for offence under Section 306 IPC
either in the FIR or in the so-called suicide note.
13. It is absurd to even think that a superior officer
like the appellant would intend to bring about suicide
of his driver and, therefore, abet the offence. In fact,
there is no nexus between the so-called suicide (if at
all it is one for which also there is no material on
record) and any of the alleged acts on the part of the
appellant. There is no proximity either. In the
prosecution under Section 306 IPC, much more
material is required. The courts have to be extremely
careful as the main person is not available for crossexamination
by the appellant-accused. Unless,
therefore, there is specific allegation and material of
definite nature (not imaginary or inferential one), it
would be hazardous to ask the appellantaccused
to face the trial. A criminal trial is not
exactly a pleasant experience. The person like the
appellant in the present case who is serving in a
responsible post would certainly suffer great
prejudice, were he to face prosecution on absurd
allegations of irrelevant nature. In the similar
circumstances, as reported in Netai Duta v. State of
W.B., this Court had quashed the proceedings
initiated against the accused.
14. As regards the suicide note, which is a document
of about 15 pages, all that we can say is that it is an
anguish expressed by the driver who felt that his
boss (the accused) had wronged him. The suicide
note and the FIR do not impress us at all. They
cannot be depicted as expressing anything

intentional on the part of the accused that the
deceased might commit suicide. If the prosecutions
are allowed to continue on such basis, it will be
difficult for every superior officer even to work."
(emphasis supplied)
17. In case of S.S.Cheena (cited supra), there was a dispute
between one Saurav Mahajan, who was a final year student of Law
Department and Harminder Singh, a fellow student of the same
class with regard to the theft of a mobile phone. This came to the
notice of M.D.Singh, the then Head of the Law Department who
asked both the students to submit their versions of the incident in
writing. The deceased and Harminder gave their versions and,
thereafter, M.D.Singh forwarded their versions to the University
authorities for taking necessary action. An inquiry was conducted
on 13th October 2003 by the Security Officer of the University Shri
S.S.Chheena. During the course of inquiry, on 17th October 2003,
Saurav Mahajan committed suicide by jumping in front of the train.
A suicide note was seized from the the pocket of the deceased. On
the complaint of father of the deceased, an offence under section
306 of I.P.C. was registered against Harminder Singh. During the
course of trial, S.S.Cheena was also impleaded as accused. Being
aggrieved by the framing of charge, S.S.Cheena approached the
High Court. The High Court refused to interfere. Being aggrieved
thereby, said S.S.Cheena approached the Supreme Court. The Apex
Court observed thus:

“27. This Court in Chitresh Kumar Chopra v. State
(Govt. of NCT of Delhi) (2009) 16 SCC 605 had an
occasion to deal with this aspect of abetment. The
Court dealt with the dictionary meaning of the words
"instigation" and "goading". The Court opined that
there should be intention to provoke, incite or
encourage the doing of an act by the latter. Each
person's suicidability 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. Each case has to be decided on the basis of
its own facts and circumstances.
28. Abetment involves a mental process of
instigating a person or intentionally aiding a person
in doing of a thing. Without a positive act on the
part of the accused to instigate or aid in committing
suicide, conviction cannot be sustained. The
intention of the legislature and the ratio of the cases
decided by this Court is clear that in order to convict
a person under Section 306 IPC there has to be a
clear mens rea to commit the offence. It also
requires an active act or direct act which led the
deceased to commit suicide seeing no option and
that act must have been intended to push the
deceased into such a position that he committed
suicide.
29. In the instant case, the deceased was
undoubtedly hypersensitive to ordinary petulance,
discord and differences which happen in our day-today
life. Human sensitivity of each individual differs

from the other. Different people behave differently
in the same situation.
30. When we carefully scrutinize and critically
examine the facts of this case in the light of the
settled legal position the conclusion becomes
obvious that no conviction can be legally sustained
without any credible evidence or material on record
against the appellant. The order of framing a charge
under section 306 IPC against the appellant is
palpably erroneous and unsustainable. It would be
travesty of justice to compel the appellant to face a
criminal trial without any credible material
whatsoever. Consequently, the order of framing
charge under section 306 IPC against the appellant is
quashed and all proceedings pending against him
are also set aside." (emphasis supplied)
18. Recently, in the case of State of Kerala and others
.vs. S.Unnikrishnan Nair and others, reported in AIR 2015
Supreme Court 3351, Their Lordships had an occasion to consider
a similar case. In the said case, the Chief Investigating Officer had
committed suicide pending investigation in a murder case. In the
suicide note, it was alleged that two of his subordinates were
responsible for his this situation. There were some allegations
against one Advocate and the Chief Judicial Magistrate. The First
Information Report came to be lodged against the subordinate
officers. They filed a petition under Section 482 of the Criminal
Procedure Code. The Kerala High Court quashed the First

Information Report. Being aggrieved thereby, the State went in
appeal before the Hon'ble Apex Court. While dismissing the appeal,
the Their Lordships of the Apex Court observed thus :
“13. As we find from the narration of facts and
the material brought on record in the case at hand,
it is the suicide note which forms the fulcrum of the
allegations and for proper appreciation of the same,
we have reproduced it herein-before. On a plain
reading of the same, it is difficult to hold that there
has been any abetment by the respondents. The
note, except saying that the the respondents
compelled him to do everything and cheated him
and put him in deep trouble, contains nothing else.
The respondents were inferior in rank and it is
surprising that such a thing could happen. That
apart, the allegation is really vague. It also baffles
reasons, for the department had made him the
head of the investigating team and the High Court
had reposed complete faith in him and granted him
the liberty to move the court, in such a situation,
there was no warrant to feel cheated and to be put
in trouble by the officers belonging to the lower
rank. That apart, he has also put the blame on the
Chief Judicial Magistrate by stating that he had put
pressure on him. He has also made the allegation
against the Advocate.”
19. In the light of this legal position, let us examine the
suicide note :

“Shri D.R.Shirsao, the District Judge, Yavatmal, Shri
S.M. Agarkar, Member, Legal Services Authority, Shri
D.N. Khadse, Civil Judge Senior Division, Yavatmal,
Shri R.P. Deshpande, Chief Judicial Magistrate,
Yavatmal and H.L. Manwar, 2
nd
 Civil Judge Senior
Division, Yavatmal are responsible for my death as
they subjected me to harassment.”.
 Sd/- …..
A.D. Jawalkar
 Civil Judge
Perusal of the said suicide note would not reveal as to on what date
the deceased has written the suicide note. However, even taking
the allegations to be true at its face value, the question would be
as to whether is it sufficient to book the persons like applicants for
the offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.
Perusal of the various statements recorded of the employees
working under the deceased would show that the deceased had
never made any complaint with regard to any of the applicants.
No doubt that there is a statement of one Judicial Officer, who had
friendly relations with the deceased, that the deceased was
disturbed on account of he being transferred to Darwha and not
being permitted to do up and down from Darwha and on account of
certain event that happened in the workshop. The question would
be as to whether the fact of a person being disturbed on account of
official act done by a superior would be sufficient to book such a
superior officer for the offence punishable under Section 306 of the
Indian Penal Code or not. We find that the issue is squarely

answered by the Apex Court in Madan Mohan Singh's case cited
supra.
20. As has been held by Their Lordships of the Apex Court
that for permitting a trial to proceed against the accused for the
offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, it is
necessary for the prosecution to at least prima facie establish that
the accused had an intention to aid or instigate or abet the
deceased to commit suicide. In the absence of availability of such
material, the accused cannot be compelled to face trial for the
offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. As
has been held by Their Lordships of the Apex Court that abetment
involves mental process of instigating a person or intentionally
aiding a person in doing of a thing and without a positive act on the
part of the accused in aiding or instigating or abeting the deceased
to commit suicide, the said persons cannot be compelled to face
the trial. Unless there is clear mens rea to commit an offence or
active act or direct act, which led the deceased to commit suicide
seeing no option or the act intending to push the deceased into
such a position, the trial against the accused under Section 306 of
the Indian Penal Code, in our considered view, would be an abuse
of process of law.
21. No doubt that the judiciary has lost one of its officers in
an unfortunate incident. However, as held by the Hon'ble Supreme
   
Court, the response of a person to a situation may differ from a
person to person. A person, who is sensitive, may be hurt if the
things do not happen as per his wish and may unfortunately
commit an act, which leads to his death. No doubt, our all
sympathies are with the family of the Judicial Officer, who lost his
life in prime age. However, can that be said to be sufficient to
prosecute the other Judicial Officers, for no fault of theirs. As
already discussed hereinabove, except applicant no.1, there is not
even whisper in the affidavit of the non-applicant no.2 insofar as
the other applicants are concerned. Even the allegations against
the applicant no.1 are with regard to discharge of his official duties.
As pointed out hereinabove, it cannot also be a case of harassment
inasmuch as the deceased was the junior most Judicial Officer in
the cadre of Civil Judge Senior Division and transferring him out of
the District headquarters to another place in the same district,
cannot be said to be an act by the applicant no.1 causing
harassment to the deceased. If the deceased had any grievance
against his superiors, it was always open for him to approach the
learned Guardian Judge of the District or Registry of this Court.
22. In any case, the transfer of the deceased from Yavatmal
to Darwha had taken place on 01.10.2015. The workshop, in which
it is alleged that the applicant no.1 had ill-treated the deceased,
had taken place on 14.02.2016 and the unfortunate incident of
suicide has taken place on 06.03.2016. Thus, it can be clearly

seen that even the causes of action, which are attributed as an
abetment to commit suicide are also far remote from the date of
death of the deceased. As already discussed hereinabove, in the
case of Sanju @ Sanjay Sengar, the allegation that you go and die
and the deceased committing suicide after 48 hours, was found to
have no nexus with the suicide.
23. In that view of the matter, we are of the considered view
that continuation of criminal proceedings against the present
applicants would result in an abuse of process of law and as such
we are inclined to allow the application.
Rule is, therefore, made absolute in terms of prayer
clause (1).
 (V. M. Deshpande, J. ) (B. R. Gavai, J.)

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