mere scolding as “Call Girl “is not amounts to abetment to committ sucide – Accused are entitled for discharge the High Court by recording a finding that terming the deceased as a call-girl, there was no utterance which can be interpreted to be an act of instigating, goading or solicitation or insinuation, the deceased to commit suicide. By referring to the case law decided by this Court wherein similar utterances like, “to go and die” does not constitute an offence for abetment, allowed the application filed by the respondents. It is observed in the order that the act or conduct of the accused, however insulting and abusive, will not by themselves suffice to constitute abetment of commission of suicide, unless those are reasonably capable of suggesting that the accused intended by such acts, the consequence of suicide. By discussing the case law on the subject, the High Court allowed the application by setting aside the order of the Trial Court and discharged the respondents-accused from the charge.

Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
1
REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 2181 OF 2009
State of West Bengal …Appellant
Versus
Indrajit Kundu & Ors. …Respondents
J U D G M E N T
R.Subhash Reddy,J.

  1. This appeal is preferred by the State of West
    Bengal through Principal Secretary, Home Department,
    aggrieved by the judgment and order dated 30.07.2019
    passed by the High Court at Calcutta in C.R.R.No.3473
    of 2008.
  2. By the impugned order, the respondents-accused
    were discharged of the charge framed against them under
    Section 306 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code.
    The victim, daughter of the de facto complainant was a
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    2
    painter and artist. To improve her proficiency in
    English, first respondent was appointed as her English
    teacher. Respondent Nos. 2 and 3 are his parents.
    There developed intimacy between the victim and first
    respondent – Indrajit in course of coaching. It is the
    allegation of the complainant that as the deceased
    victim and first respondent had decided to marry, to
    finalise the proposal of marriage the victim had gone
    to the house of first respondent on 05.03.2004. It is
    alleged that when the victim went to the house of
    first respondent, respondent Nos. 2 and 3 who are the
    parents of the first respondent came out to raise
    shouts and addressed the victim as a call-girl. The
    words uttered by respondent Nos. 2 and 3, as per the de
    facto complainant are “you are a call-girl, why my son
    would marry you, we would give our son in marriage
    elsewhere”. It is alleged in the complaint that at
    that time, first respondent did not protest against
    the version of his parents and his daughter returned
    home and became mentally perturbed. On 06.03.2004 at
    about 1.00 p.m. the victim had committed suicide.
  3. On the complaint of the de facto complainant, a
    case was registered in Jorabagan Police Station against
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    3
    respondents under Section 306 IPC and thereafter
    charge-sheet was filed.
  4. There were two suicide notes. In one suicide note,
    the deceased has stated that parents of first
    respondent abused her in silly words by calling her a
    call-girl. In another note, which was addressed to
    the first respondent, has stated that the father of
    first respondent stigmatized her as a call-girl and
    first respondent has not responded to such utterances.
    Further it is stated that first respondent is a
    coward. After conducting investigation, charge-sheet
    was filed under Section 306/34 IPC against all the
    three accused. Case was committed to the 7th Fast Track
    Court, Sessions Court, Calcutta, numbered as Sessions
    Case No.11 of 2006.
  5. Accused-respondents earlier filed application for
    discharge, the same was rejected by the Trial Court by
    order dated 19.04.2007. Thereafter, respondents have
    filed an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. before
    the High Court in C.R.R.No.1817 of 2007 which was
    disposed of with the direction to respondents-accused
    to raise all the points before the learned Trial Court.
    At the stage of framing of charges respondents have
    raised objections claiming that no case is made out
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    4
    against them to frame charge for the alleged offence
    under Section 306/34 IPC. The learned Additional
    District and Sessions Judge by order dated 04.09.2008
    overruled the objections of the respondents observing
    that as there is a probability of accused being
    convicted, charge can be framed. It is observed in the
    order that there is a reasonable likelihood for accused
    persons to be convicted under Section 306 IPC. Against
    the said order, respondents have approached the High
    Court again under Section 401/482 Cr.P.C. in
    C.R.R.No.3473 of 2008.
  6. By the impugned order, the High Court by recording
    a finding that terming the deceased as a call-girl,
    there was no utterance which can be interpreted to be
    an act of instigating, goading or solicitation or
    insinuation, the deceased to commit suicide. By
    referring to the case law decided by this Court wherein
    similar utterances like, “to go and die” does not
    constitute an offence for abetment, allowed the
    application filed by the respondents. It is observed
    in the order that the act or conduct of the accused,
    however insulting and abusive, will not by themselves
    suffice to constitute abetment of commission of
    suicide, unless those are reasonably capable of
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    5
    suggesting that the accused intended by such acts, the
    consequence of suicide. By discussing the case law on
    the subject, the High Court allowed the application by
    setting aside the order of the Trial Court and
    discharged the respondents-accused from the charge.
  7. We have heard Sri Suhaan Mukerji, learned counsel
    appearing for the State of West Bengal and Sri Pijush
    Roy, learned counsel appearing for respondents.
  8. In this appeal mainly it is contended by the
    learned counsel for the appellant-State that the de
    facto complainant has appointed first respondent as an
    English teacher to improve the English of the deceased
    victim. The victim used to visit the house of accused
    No.1 and developed intimacy and relationship. It is
    submitted that on 05.03.2004, when the victim visited
    the accused for finalizing the date of marriage,
    respondent Nos. 2 and 3 who are parents of accused No.1
    have shouted and called the victim a call-girl. The
    victim was disturbed and she returned home and her
    sister tried to console her by telling her that they
    will speak to the accused so that their marriage would
    take place. It is submitted that on next day i.e.
    06.03.2004, she committed suicide by hanging. It is
    submitted that from suicide notes, it is clear that
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    6
    respondents who are the accused are responsible for
    suicide of the victim girl. It is submitted that by
    their conduct and utterances they have abetted the
    crime, as such they were rightly charged for the
    offence under Section 306/34 IPC. It is submitted that
    there is sufficient material to frame charge against
    the respondents. In spite of the same, without
    considering the material on record, the High Court has
    allowed the application filed by the respondents. The
    learned counsel for the State in support of his
    arguments placed reliance on the judgment in the cases
    of Soma Chakravarty vs. State1 and Union of India
    vs. Prafulla Kumar Samal2.
  9. On the other hand, in response, learned counsel
    appearing for the accused-respondents submitted that
    during the pendency of this appeal, the second
    respondent passed away, as such appeal stands abated so
    far as he is concerned. Further, it is stated that as
    there is no material to frame charge against the
    respondents for offence under Section 306/34 IPC, the
    High Court by well-reasoned order has allowed their
    application and no grounds to interfere with the same.
    1 (2007) 5 SCC 403
    2 (1979) 3 SCC 4.
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    7
  10. Having heard learned counsel on both the sides, we
    have perused the impugned order passed by the High
    Court and other material placed on record.
  11. From the material placed on record, it is clear
    that respondents are sought to be proceeded for charge
    under Section 306/34 mainly relying on the suicide
    letters written by the deceased girl and the statements
    recorded during the investigation. Even according to
    the case of de facto complainant, respondent Nos. 2 and
    3 who are parents of first respondent shouted at the
    deceased girl calling her a call-girl. This happened
    on 05.03.2004 and the deceased girl committed suicide
    on 06.03.2004. By considering the material placed on
    record, we are also of the view that the present case
    does not present any picture of abetment allegedly
    committed by respondents. The suicide committed by the
    victim cannot be said to be the result of any action on
    part of respondents nor can it be said that commission
    of suicide by the victim was the only course open to
    her due to action of the respondents. There was no
    goading or solicitation or insinuation by any of the
    respondents to the victim to commit suicide. In the
    case of Swamy Prahaladdas vs. State of M.P. and Anr.
    3
    3 1995 Supp (3) SCC 438
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    8
    this Court while considering utterances like “to go and
    die” during the quarrel between husband and wife,
    uttered by husband held that utterances of such words
    are not direct cause for committing suicide. In such
    circumstances, in the aforesaid judgment this Court
    held that Sessions Judge erred in summoning the
    appellant to face the trial and quashed the
    proceedings.
  12. In the judgment in the case of Ramesh Kumar vs.
    State of Chhattisgarh4 this Court has considered the
    scope of Section 306 and the ingredients which are
    essential for abetment as set out in Section 107 IPC.
    While interpreting the word “instigation”, it is held
    in paragraph 20 as under:
    “20. Instigation is to goad, urge forward,
    provoke, incite or encourage to do “an
    act”. To satisfy the requirement of
    instigation though it is not necessary that
    actual words must be used to that effect or
    what constitutes instigation must
    necessarily and specifically be suggestive
    of the consequence. Yet a reasonable
    certainty to incite the consequence must be
    capable of being spelt out. The present
    one is not a case where the accused had by
    his acts or omission or by a continued
    course of conduct created such
    circumstances that the deceased was left
    with no other option except to commit
    suicide in which case an instigation may
    have been inferred. A word uttered in the
    fit of anger or emotion without intending
    4 (2001) 9 SCC 618
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    9
    the consequences to actually follow cannot
    be said to be instigation.”
  13. Similarly in the judgment in the case of Sanju
    Alias Sanjay Singh Sengar vs. State of M.P.5 when any
    quarrel which has taken place between husband and wife
    in which husband has stated to have told the deceased
    ”to go and die”, this Court has held that the suicide
    committed two days thereafter was not proximate to the
    quarrel though the deceased was named in the suicide
    note and that the suicide was not the direct result of
    quarrel when the appellant used abusive language and
    told the deceased to go and die. Judgments referred
    above support the case of respondents, except stating
    that on 05.03.2004 when the deceased went to the
    premises of first respondent, his parents who are
    respondent Nos. 2 and 3 addressed her as a call-girl.
    At the same time by applying the judgments referred
    above we are of the view that such material is not
    sufficient to proceed with the trial by framing charge
    of offence under Section 306/34 IPC. It is also clear
    from the material that there was no goading or
    solicitation or insinuation by any of the respondents
    to the victim to commit suicide.
    5 (2002) 5 SCC 371
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    10
  14. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant-State
    has placed reliance on the judgment in the case of Soma
    Chakravarty (supra), wherein this Court has held that
    when there is material to show that accused might have
    committed offence it can frame charge and the probative
    value of the material on record cannot be gone into at
    the stage, before the Trial Court.
  15. Reliance is placed on the judgment in the case of
    Union of India vs Prafulla Kumar Samal (supra), where
    this Court has held that the Judge while considering
    the question of framing the charges has the undoubted
    power to sift and weigh the evidence for the limited
    purpose of finding out whether or not a prima facie
    case against the accused has been made out.
  16. The judgment relied on by learned counsel for the
    State in the case of Chitresh Kumar Chopra vs. State
    (NCT) of Delhi6, this Court has held that where the
    accused by his acts or by a continued course of conduct
    creates such circumstances that the deceased was left
    with no other option except to commit suicide, an
    “instigation” may be inferred. To draw the inference
    of instigation it all depends on facts and
    circumstances of the case, whether the acts committed
    6 (2009) 16 SCC 605
    Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009
    11
    by the accused will constitute direct or indirect act
    of incitement to the commission of suicide is a matter
    which is required to be considered in facts and
    circumstances of each case. As such we are of the view
    that the judgments relied on by the learned counsel for
    the State would not assist in supporting his arguments.
  17. For the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any
    merit in this appeal so as to interfere with the well
    reasoned judgment of the High Court. Accordingly, this
    appeal is dismissed.
    ……………….J.
    [Indu Malhotra]
    ……………..J.
    [R. Subhash Reddy]
    New Delhi;
    October 18, 2019