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Ashok Kumar Gupta & Ors vs State (Govt Of Nct Of Delhi) & Anr on 1 October, 2018

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* IN THE HIGH COURT OF DELHI AT NEW DELHI

Reserved on: 07th September, 2018
Pronounced on: 01st October, 2018

+ CRL.M.C. 4905/2016 Crl.M.A.20305/2016
ASHOK KUMAR GUPTA ORS ….. Petitioners
Through: Mr.Mukul Gupta, Sr.
Adv. with Mr.Vibhor Garg,
Mr.Tushar Gupta, Mr.Deepanshu
Panwar and Mr.Nishank Tyagi,
Advs.

Versus

STATE (GOVT OF NCT OF DELHI) ANR ….. Respondents
Through: Mr.Ashish Dutta, APP
for State.
Mr.Sanjeev Manchanda and
Mr.Harish Chawla, Advs. for R-2.

CORAM:
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE R.K.GAUBA
ORDER

1. On 18.07.2015, sometime before 10.30 a.m., one Chander
Shekhar son of Dharampal Singh, aged about 31 years, resident of
Mohan Garden, New Delhi was run over by a railway train at a place
between railway stations of Shahbad Mohammadpur and Bijwasan,
the death statedly being found to be suicidal. First information report
(FIR) no.215/15 was registered on 23.08.2015 by police station Sarai

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Rohilla Railway Station for offence under Section 306 read with
Section 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC) at the instance of
Rajnath Singh, brother of the deceased. The police, having concluded
the investigation, submitted report under Section 173 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973 (Cr. PC) dated 12.04.2016, followed by
supplementary report dated 10.11.2016, with the conclusion that
sufficient evidence had not come up against the persons whose
complicity in the crime had been alleged.

2. The Metropolitan Magistrate, by his order dated 03.12.2016, did
not agree with the abovesaid conclusion and was of the view that
prima facie the deceased person had been “deliberately harassed” and
“driven to suicide”, the petitioners herein having “deliberately created
a situation which left no other option for the deceased but to take his
own life” and, on the basis of such impression, took cognizance of the
offence under Section 306/34 of the IPC and summoned the
petitioners as accused.

3. Feeling aggrieved by the abovesaid order, the petitioners have
come up to this court by the petition at hand invoking the inherent
power and jurisdiction under Section 482 Cr.PC contending that the
order of the Magistrate is perverse, not taking into consideration the
facts and circumstances that had been brought to light during
investigation, having adopted an approach which was against the
settled law vis-à-vis the offence of abetment of suicide and
consequently being in the nature of abuse of the process of law.

4. The petition has been resisted by the second respondent (first
informant), the State through the Additional Public Prosecutor having

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taken a neutral stand, leaving the matter to the wisdom, judicial
discretion and judgment of the court.

5. The background facts which are substantially not in dispute or
which are supported by substantive evidence gathered during
investigation and, therefore, irrefutable may be taken note of at this
stage.

6. The first to third petitioners are brothers to each other, each of
them in their mid-sixties, the fourth petitioner being the son of the first
petitioner, all of them being residents of a house in West Punjabi
Bagh, New Delhi. They together are engaged in business run in the
name and style of Laxmi Float Glass Ltd. with office at A-2/10, WHS,
DDA Marble Market, Kirti Nagar, New Delhi. The petitioners being
the proprietors of the said business would also visit the said office at
Kirti Nagar. Chander Shekhar (the deceased) was working as an
employee in the said business, under the petitioners, for more than a
decade, statedly in the capacity of a salesman, his responsibilities
relating to sales made by the company in various cities or towns of
Haryana. Rajnath Singh (the first informant / complainant), the elder
brother of the deceased, had also been similarly engaged as a salesman
by the said company of the petitioners with office at Kirti Nagar. It
appears the company deals in trading of glass and the salesmen were
also responsible to ensure the recovery of dues against the sales to
other dealers, it being inherent in the said arrangement that the
salesman would account for the monies realized from the purchasing
dealers.

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 3 of 41

7. It is alleged by the complainant himself in the FIR that a dispute
had arisen between the deceased (employee), on one hand, and the
petitioners (employers), on the other, about accounting of certain
amount(s) of money which statedly had been collected by the former
(deceased) from various dealers. It is also stated by the complainant
himself, and his word is echoed (in his statement) by similarly placed
employee (Anjani Kumar Singh) that the petitioners had called upon
the deceased sometime in the last week of 2015 and had insisted that
he rendered the accounts. It is also an admitted case of the
complainant in the FIR, and this again finds support from the
statement of Anjani Kumar Singh, that the petitioners had also roped
in the two of them (complainant and Anjani Kumar Singh), besides
certain others, on their persistence for the deceased to account for
monies, and towards this end, on 15.07.2015 (investigation showing
the tour to have been undertaken on 16th and 17th July, 2015, had taken
the deceased along with them to various towns of Haryana (Karnal,
Kurushetra, Yamuna Nagar and Ambala) to check the accounts with
various dealers which statedly were the ones with whom the deceased
had been interacting or from whom he had been realizing the dues
relating to sales made through him. It is clear from the averments in
the FIR, read in its entirety, that the employers (i.e. the petitioners)
suspected that the deceased had committed defalcation of money
realized from such dealers by dishonestly mis-appropriating the same
for his own use in criminal breach of trust reposed in him by them.

8. According to the report under Section 173 Cr.P.C, on
18.07.2015, at 10:30:48 hrs, telephonic information was received by

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police control room (PCR) of Delhi Police about a person having been
run over by a train in the general area of Sector-23, Dwarka. The
information was conveyed by the PCR to police station Sarai Rohilla
Railway Station where daily diary (DD) entry no.10A came to be
recorded at 10.35 a.m. In the meantime, Mr. Hari Mohan Meena,
Station Master had also conveyed report to the police about the
incident having occurred near Shahbad Mohammadpur Railway
Station. ASI Azad Singh accompanied by Constable Paramjeet set out
for the place in question for inquiry. When they reached the place in
question near K.M. Pole No.21 /4-5, Up Railway Line, they found the
dead body which was eventually identified as that of Chander Shekhar
(the deceased). The personal search of the dead body led to recovery
of Aadhar Card, Voter-ID card and a hand-written note (described in
the case as a “suicide note”). It appears the mobile phone instrument
(with SIM no.9250547197) of the deceased was also found at the
scene and it also appears that on the basis of the identity established
by the documents that were found, contact was established by the
police official with Rajnath Singh (the first informant).

9. The first informant, statedly accompanied by his other brother
Mukteshwar Singh, reached the place in question and identified the
dead body. The inquest proceedings were initiated and the
preliminary steps in that regard were taken including by removal of
the dead body to mortuary for post-mortem examination. ASI Azad
Singh, having undertaken such proceedings, pursuant to DD no.10A,
logged the action taken by him vide DD no.14 recorded at 04:00 hours
on 18.07.2015 in police post Kishan Ganj.

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 5 of 41

10. There is no dispute raised as to the cause of death. The
allegations in the FIR, as indeed the autopsy report, the evidence
gathered (including the photographs of the dead body at the scene) and
the statements of the witnesses leave no room for doubt that Chander
Shakhar had suffered injuries on account of he being run over by a
train and, in absence of any other theory being propounded by anyone,
it must be assumed or inferred that the death was suicidal.

11. The hand written note (described as “suicide note”), which
statedly was found amongst the personal effects of the deceased at the
time of initial police proceedings, and which was recovered and was
duly noted in the DD no.14, was sent to Forensic Science Laboratory
(FSL), the report of FSL whereupon formed the basis of the
supplementary report of the police, the opinion of the hand writing
expert, based on comparison with some “admitted writings” made
available, being that it was in the hand writing of the deceased. The
said note (in vernacular) appears to have been written on a sheet of
paper, taken off an exercise book and purports to convey that the
author had been working with Laxmi Float Glass Ltd. which company
had closed his account even where-after he was being harassed and
further that the author was taking such step on account of such
harassment.

12. The police proceedings unmistakably show, and the
complainant has no different version to offer, that after the initial input
(DD no.10A), the first police record was in the form of DD no.14,
which is based on a report prepared by ASI Azad Singh respecting the
action taken and statement of the complainant recorded for purposes

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 6 of 41
of identification of the dead body. The record also contains similar
statement of Mukteshwar Singh, the other brother of the deceased and
first informant, such statements appearing in the trial court record (at
pages 395-397), alongside the report for inquest proceedings prepared
by ASI Azad Singh (being at page 385) and copy of DD entry no.14
(at page 411). It is noted that, read together, the first informant and
his brother Mukteshwar Singh in their statements had clearly
expressed that they had “no suspicion” against anyone for the death of
Chander Shekhar who, according to them, seemed to have taken such
extreme step on account of “harassment by the company”, this
apparently being with reference to the suicide note, they being privy to
its recovery.

13. The report of the police also contains another statement of the
first informant recorded on 20.07.2015 by ASI Azad Singh in which
he leveled allegations against the four petitioners, his version being
that the deceased had been looking after the work of salesman with the
petitioners since 2006, dealing with dealers of Haryana but his
services had been terminated by the petitioners in June 2015 on the
false allegation of discrepancies in the accounts. He also alleged that
the deceased had given all the accounts inspite of which he was being
harassed by the petitioners by repeated phone calls to him extending
threats to involve him in a police case or to get him lifted by gunda
elements. He alleged that, feeling pressurized on account of such
harassment, the deceased had resumed work with the company (of the
petitioners) with effect from 13.07.2015 and had gone and reconciled
the accounts by meeting the parties (dealers). While acknowledging

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 7 of 41
receipt of the copy of the suicide note, the first informant, in his
statement dated 20.07.2015, further stated that he would give a
detailed complaint in writing in due course.

14. On 27.07.2015, the first informant submitted a hand written
complaint running into eleven leaves, addressed to the Station House
Officer (SHO) of the police station Sarai Rohilla Railway Station.
This complaint, received vide diary no.61 dated 27.07.2015, forms the
basis of the FIR, registered on 23.08.2015, pursuant to endorsement
dated 22.08.2015 by the SHO of the police station.

15. According to the FIR, based on the complaint dated 27.07.2015,
the deceased being dissatisfied over there being no increase in the
salary by the petitioners had decided in April 2015 to leave their
employment. The first informant alleged that since the deceased knew
all the secrets of the employers including as to how they would deal in
black market, he also being acquainted with their dealers in Haryana,
the employers did not want him to leave the job so as to join some
other employer. He alleged that the deceased had handed over the
entire accounts to the employers on 25.05.2015 and though his dues
had been settled by the employers on 30.06.2015, the provident fund
and gratuity benefits were withheld. He further alleged that the
employers had then started exerting pressure on the deceased, directly
or through him (complainant), not to give up the job with threats that
he would not be allowed to work for gain in Delhi.

16. Against the above backdrop, on 12.07.2015, the second
petitioner allegedly had a talk with the deceased by making a call from
the mobile phone (9818146319) of fourth petitioner to the mobile

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 8 of 41
phone (9818693948) of the first informant asking about the accounts
and calling him again to the office on 14.07.2015 for certain
clarifications. It is alleged that when the deceased came to the office
of the company in the morning of 14.07.2015, he was accused of
fabrication of accounts, threatened, abused and assaulted. It is also
alleged that the deceased offering to explain the accounts again had
protested and had told the employers that they could not make him a
bonded labourer.

17. The complainant further alleged that, on 15.07.2015, the
deceased was again called to the office and, once again, accused and
harassed on basis of false accusations of defalcation of money. He
alleged that thereafter the (petitioners), the deceased, the first
informant and others had set out in two vehicles to the four
aforementioned cities of Haryana, where the dealers in question were
contacted. According to the complainant, all accounts were fully
rendered and no discrepancy could be found in the said exercise. It is
alleged that during this effort the second petitioner had also come to
be engaged in a physical fight with the witness Anjani Kumar Singh
and the deceased was also physically assaulted, the group having
eventually returned to Delhi after mid-night intervening 17th and 18th
July, 2015.

18. It is also alleged that the deceased was feeling threatened at the
possibility of being implicated in a case and being consequentially
defamed. The complainant stated that in the morning, at about 8.30
a.m., on 18.07.2015, on being asked. the deceased had told him that he
would follow him to the office later. He alleged that, at 9.49 a.m., he

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 9 of 41
had received a telephonic call from the deceased, who was sounding
harassed and when the first informant had told him that the employers
(petitioners) were asking about him, the deceased had dis-connected
the phone. Sometime thereafter, he received a call from the police
informing him about the suicide.

19. The report under Section 173 Cr.P.C. which was submitted on
26.04.2016 before the Metropolitan Magistrate would show that
during the investigation, amongst others, the statement under Section
161 Cr.P.C. of Juhi (wife of the deceased) was also recorded. Her
statement would show that the deceased hailed from district Jaunpur
(Uttar Pradesh) and that he had left the job with the company of the
petitioners having shifted to native village but, upon insistence of the
first and second petitioners, through telephonic communication, the
couple had returned to Delhi on 07.07.2015 as the employers wanted
the accounts to be rendered. She narrated the events that happened
after the deceased had resumed duty with effect from 08.07.2015 till
the date of suicidal death, more or less on the lines set out in the FIR,
this including visits to various towns of Haryana on 16.07.2015 and
17.07.2015.

20. The investigating officer also examined V.K. Singh, resident of
Uttam Nagar, landlord of the deceased and his brother (the first
informant). A copy of the statement of the former has been submitted
by the complainant at the hearing and it is noticed that it was actually
in the form of letter addressed to investigating officer submitted under
signatures of the said person. Be that as it may, most of what this
witness would say was what he had been told to him either by the

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 10 of 41
deceased or by the first informant, clearly he having no personal
knowledge of any of the acts of commission or omission of the events
which are subject matter of the case at hand.

21. The witnesses examined during the investigation would also
include Anjani Kumar, another employee of the petitioners, he being a
co-worker of the deceased. His statement reiterated what is the
version of the first informant to the effect that the employers had been
insisting on accounts to be rendered and, for this purpose, they had
taken the deceased to various dealers in Haryana. It is the version of
the said witness that the employers did not want the deceased to leave
the employment since he was privy to their “black and white” dealings
in the business. Anjani Kumar would also disclose that he himself had
a grouse against the employers since against the backdrop of the
deceased leaving the job, all the responsibilities of the latter had been
placed on his shoulders without he being given any monetary raise in
wages, it being “practically” not possible for him to take care of the
entire market of Haryana on his own. He has also indicated that the
employers were in the habit of being abusive which added to the
reason of he being disgruntled.

22. According to Anjani Kumar Singh, he with the assistance of the
deceased had made sales to the extent of 60 truck loads, on which
account incentive to the extent of Rs.7,20,000/- would have become
due but the same was not paid. He further stated that against this
backdrop, he was also thinking of leaving the job but he was also
being pressurised not to do so. He stated that the deceased had given
in writing that he had taken Rs.1,40,000/- from the accounts of the

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 11 of 41
company which, according to him, was written at his instance, under
duress from the employers, who were levelling false allegations.
According to him, the visits to the offices of various dealers in
Haryana had not brought out any discrepancy in the accounts and
further that during the said visit he and second petitioner had come to
be involved in fisticuffs.

23. The investigation had also revealed that besides the deceased,
the first informant and the witness Anjani Kumar, there was another
employee named Azad Veer, the work of four of them (engaged as
salesmen) being under the supervision of witness Ved Prakash who
was engaged as sales manager. According to the version of Ved
Prakash, the deceased had suddenly stopped coming to the office in
the last week of May, 2015, without giving any intimation and that
when the accounts were checked based on the inputs from the
customers of the area (Haryana) certain discrepancies had come to
light. It was against this backdrop that, per sales manager Ved
Prakash, the first informant (brother of the deceased) had himself
volunteered to him that the deceased be called and the accounts tallied,
after talking with the parties in question. As per him, the first
informant being an old employee, the second and fourth petitioners
(employers) had agreed to the proposal. The witness informed that the
tour to the four places in Haryana was undertaken on 16.07.2015 and
17.07.2015 on the suggestion of the first informant and that, during the
said visit, the two said employers (second and fourth petitioners) had
stayed in Hotel Best Westland while the others (employees) had
stayed at another property i.e. Hotel Grace, in Ambala. As per his

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 12 of 41
version, Azad Veer, the other salesman had returned on the first
evening itself while the rest had returned to Delhi after visiting
Yamunanagar and Hissar on the next day, all having accompanied on
the tour voluntarily of their own free will, there having been no
occasion for any hot exchange between anyone, the deceased, the first
informant and the salesman Anjani Kumar having parted ways (on
return journey) in the area of Peeragarhi to go to their respective
houses. This part of the version of sales manager Ved Prakash has
been confirmed by the other salesman Azad Veer who was also part of
the group that had travelled to different parts of Haryana.

24. As per the final report of the investigation, discrepancies in the
accounts relating to dealings through the deceased came to light
during the inquiries made with the dealers during the afore-mentioned
tour. To be specific, the witness Ved Prakash would mention the fact
of the deceased having collected Rs.60,000/- and Rs.11,000/-
respectively from dealers named Sidhi Vinayak Glass House and
Karan Glass House, Ambala Cantt. and having deposited the said
amount of money in his personal savings account no. 31611462666
with State Bank of India, Jaunpur, U.P. He also mentioned four
cheques bearing nos. 206238 dated 12.09.2012, 427791 dated
07.09.2013, 427854 dated 31.12.2013 and 660304 dated 07.05.2013
for Rs.1 lakh, Rs.75,000/-, Rs.60,000/- and Rs.1 lakh respectively
which had been issued by a dealer Shiv Enterprises Ambala which
cheques were passed on by the deceased to three other dealers of
Hissar, Ambala Cantt and Kurukshetra and he having collected cash
thereagainst. The discrepancies in the accounts, as shown by the

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 13 of 41
investigation report, have been confirmed by corresponding entries in
the bank account of the deceased and by the statements of dealers
named Manjeet, Proprietor of Super Traders, Karnal; Rattan Lal,
proprietor of Vishavkarma Glass, Kurukshetra; Ajay Ravi, proprietor
of Shri Krishan Kirpa Glass House of Yamunanagar; Jitender Kapoor
@ Shiv Kapoor, owner of a shop at Yamunanagar; and Narender
Singh Rawat, proprietor of Shiv Enterprises, Ambala.

25. As per the evidence gathered during investigation, the deceased
had collected various amounts from these dealers which had not been
accounted for by him to the employers (the petitioners), this including
the amounts of Rs.45,000/- realised from Super Traders, Rs.15,000/-
collected from Vishavkarma Glass, Rs.56,000/- gathered from Shri
Krishan Kirpa Glass House, Rs.24,000/- taken from Jitender Kapoor
@ Shiv Kapoor and Rs.2,15,000/- from Shiv Enterprises. The
petitioners point out that the investigating agency had made
independent inquiries from the concerned dealers and the banker to
confirm the collection of money by the deceased and
contemporaneous deposits of certain amounts in his bank account,
reference particularly being made to the reports of Sidhi Vinayak
Glass House, Karan Glass House, Shiv Enterprises, Super Traders,
Vishvkarma Glass, Sri Krishan Kripa Glass House and Kapoor Glass
Palace. Attention was also drawn illustratively to the evidence
reflecting deposit of cash amounts of Rs.20,000/-, Rs.4000/-,
Rs.20,000/-, Rs.10,000/-, Rs.10,000/- and Rs.7,000/- close on the
heels of equivalent amounts realised from Sidhi Vinayak Glass House
and Karan Glass House on 05.01.2013, 08.02.2013, 25.04.2013,

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 14 of 41
30.07.2013, 27.09.2013 and 25.04.2015 in the bank account of the
deceased as was confirmed upon scrutiny of the bank statement
separately collected.

26. The investigation had also covered the accusations pertaining to
pressure allegedly exerted by the petitioners against the deceased
through telephonic calls. Upon analysis of the call detail records
(CDRs) of the petitioners, on one hand, and of the deceased, on the
other, no record of any telephonic contact between them has come to
light. The CDRs do reflect contact on several occasions between the
fourth petitioner and the first informant during 30.05.2015 to
18.07.2015, calls having been made or received by either of them from
each other. The scrutiny of the CDRs of the phone of the deceased
would show that the last call received by him, during his life time, was
from one Praveen son of Subhash resident of Uttam Nagar who, upon
being examined, disclosed that the deceased had taken a loan of
Rs.10,000/- which he (Praveen) wanted to be repaid on account of his
mother’s illness. The last call made using the said phone was at 09.51
am to the first informant by ASI Azad Singh about the suicidal death.

27. On the basis, inter alia, of the evidence to the above effect, the
investigating agency concluded that no proof of the deceased having
been subjected to harassment, ill-treatment, misbehavior or torture by
the employers had come to light. It found instead that there is
evidence to show criminal breach of trust by the deceased in respect of
the monies realized by him for and on behalf of the employers from
various dealers by its transfer (deposit) into his personal account.

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 15 of 41

28. Since the investigating agency in its report under Section 173
Cr.P.C., which was followed by submission of the FSL result under
the cover of supplementary report presented on 10.11.2016, had
indicated that it had not found any prosecutable evidence against
anyone for the offence under Section 306 of the IPC, notice was
issued to the complainant by the Metropolitan Magistrate, by order
dated 26.04.2016. The complainant, in response, filed a protest
petition which is essentially reiteration of the allegations made by him
in the FIR.

29. The final report of investigation by the police and the protest
petition were considered leading to the impugned order being passed
by the Magistrate on 03.02.2016. In the initial part of the said order,
copious references have been made to the allegations in the FIR and
particularly to the visit “for verification of accounts” to the offices of
various dealers in Haryana. The reasons why the Magistrate found it a
case sufficient to proceed against the petitioners are summarized in
(the following paras of) the impugned order :-

“The complainant who is the brother of the
deceased and also working in the same company
has clearly and categorically stated in his
complaint that his brother resigned from job in
May, 2015. However, he was neither given his
dues nor he was being permitted to work
somewhere else. He was repeatedly being
harassed and humiliated by the accused persons.
The statement of complainant is also endorsed by
Chander Shekhar, landlord of the complainant as
well as Anjani Kumar, another employee of the
same company. Moreover, if the deceased was not
being tortured by the accused persons, he had no

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 16 of 41
reason to commit suicide and implicate his
employers via suicide note.

When the entire facts and circumstances of the
case are taken into consideration, it becomes clear
that after deceased decided to leave the job of the
company, he was continuously being humiliated
and tortured by the accused persons. His gratuity
and other dues were not paid. He was also not
permitted to work at some other place. He was
being repeatedly threatened that he will be
implicated in some false case. He was cornered
from all angles. Record reveals that the accused
persons deliberately created a situation which left
no other option for the deceased but to take his
own life. Prima facie it appears that the deceased
was deliberately harassed and was driven to
suicide. Hence, the protest petition is allowed.”

30. It is clear from the above that the Magistrate found the
allegations made by the complainant, as supported by the statements
of co-worker (Anjani Kumar) and the landlord (wrongly described as
Chander Shekhar – this, in fact, being the name of the deceased) to be
credible to infer that the deceased had been “cornered” and left with
“no other option” so as to be “driven to suicide”.

31. It is trite that it is the duty of the officer in charge of the police
station, upon receiving information relating to the commission of a
cognizable offence to have it “reduced to writing” – by registering a
first information report (FIR) under Section 154 Cr.P.C. and,
thereafter, to proceed to carry out an investigation thereinto. The
investigation into the case, by exercising the powers vested in the
police, eventually leads to, on completion, submission of a report “of

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 17 of 41
investigation” in terms of Section 173 Cr.P.C. Such report, may
indicate that the evidence that came to be gathered during the
investigation was “deficient” for the matter to be taken forward for
any criminal action or, conversely, to submit a request, “when
evidence is sufficient” to seek cognizance to be taken of the offence
that stands made out and for the person responsible for such offence
(the accused) to be called “for trial”.

32. This Court in Sunil Kumar Rajput vs. State (Govt. of NCT of
Delhi) Anr., Crl.M.C. 2142/2015, dated 13.09.2018 has observed as
under:-

―Undoubtedly when the investigating police
submits a report under Section 173 Cr. PC, the
prerogative to take an appropriate view in
accordance with law rests with the court of
cognizance i.e. Metropolitan Magistrate. Again
undoubtedly, at such stage, the Metropolitan
Magistrate is not bound by the view expressed in
the report of investigation submitted by the police.
For clarity, it may be added that the Magistrate
has a judicial discretion, power and jurisdiction to
take a view contrary to the one reached by the
investigating police – that is to say even in a case
where the investigating police has submitted a
report for cancellation or closure (not sending any
person for prosecution), the Magistrate can reject
the said view and on the basis of available material
proceed to take cognizance under Section 190 Cr.
PC and to issue process under Section 204 Cr. PC.
It is also true that the order taking cognizance, or
issuing process, need not be a very detailed or
elaborate one. But, it is always desirable that such
an order must pass the muster of a judicial order
which means the order must show application of

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 18 of 41
mind and, for such tests to be passed, the order
must take note atleast of the background facts,
albeit briefly, and the reasons why the Magistrate
is taking a particular view, specially when it is
contrary to what has been recommended to him by
the investigating agency.”

33. Albeit in the context of process being issued (under Section 204
Cr.P.C.) on the basis of pre-summoning inquiry on a criminal
complaint by the Magistrate, the Supreme Court in the case of Pepsi
Foods Ltd. and Another v. Special Judicial Magistrate and Others
[(1998) 5 SCC 749] observed as under:-

―28. Summoning of an accused in a criminal case
is a serious matter. Criminal law cannot be set
into motion as a matter of course. It is not that the
complainant has to bring only two witnesses to
support his allegations in the complaint to have the
criminal law set into motion. The order of the
Magistrate summoning the accused must reflect
that he has applied his mind to the facts of the case
and the law applicable thereto. He has to examine
the nature of allegations made in the complaint
and the evidence both oral and documentary in
support thereof and would that be sufficient for the
complainant to succeed in bringing charge home to
the accused.

―xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx xxxx‖

34. It is the grievance of the petitioners that the Metropolitan
Magistrate, while passing the impugned order of summoning has
failed to bear in mind the guidance in the above ruling of Pepsi Foods
Ltd. (supra). It is also their grievance that the Magistrate has adopted
a mechanical approach by selectively going by one-sided version of

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 19 of 41
the FIR and the statements of three persons who were inimically
placed, ignoring the voluminous evidence showing such version to be
not credible thereby rendering the investigative process meaningless.

In the submissions of the petitioners, the impugned order is perverse
and not founded on reliable evidence.

35. It is the argument of the petitioners that the chronology of
events, as have been summarized above, show that, besides a vague
reference to “harassment” by the employer company, the complainant
had expressed that there was “no suspicion” regarding complicity of
any person in the suicidal death of his brother (Chander Shekhar) in
the first instance, he being supported by his other brother
(Mukteshwar Singh) who had also reached the scene of incident at the
initial stages. It is submitted that even in the statement recorded on
18.07.2015 and again on 20.07.2015, no allegations in the nature
mentioned above were levelled, particularly about physical assaults,
torture or threats of false implication in a police case, the position
taken being that the deceased had left the employment in April, 2015,
his accounts having been settled, though some dues withheld.

36. It is argued that the case of abetment of suicide by instigation,
or intentional aid, by acts of commission or illegal omission, set up by
the complaint in writing dated 21.07.2015, is motivated and a
materially improved version, it being such as cannot be given any
credence, particularly against the backdrop of fact that the
complainant and two witnesses in his support stand belied in the claim
that no discrepancy could be detected, upon verification of accounts of

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 20 of 41
the dealers, the evidence gathered during the probe instead showing a
series of defalcation by the deceased.

37. Reliance is placed on rulings of the Supreme Court reported as
State of AP vs. Punati Ramulu Ors. 1994 Supp (1) SCC 590; Amar
Nath Jha vs. Nand Kishore Singh Criminal Appeal Nos. 94-97/2013;
and ruling of a division bench of this Court in Budhan Singh Ors.
vs. State (Through N.C.T. of Delhi) 2008 (2) JCC 1017 and a division
bench of the High Court of Bombay reported as Dhondiram vs. State
of Maharashtra Ors. 2016 SCC Online Bom 3078, to argue that
there is no case of abetment of suicide made out on which the
petitioners could be summoned.

38. As noted earlier, the suicide occurred on 18.07.2015. The
statement of the first informant had been recorded during the inquiry
on the same day at the scene of occurrence. The informant was
thereafter again examined by the police official on 20.07.2015. If the
offence of abetment of suicide had been committed, the criminal law
stood set in motion either by the statement of the first informant on
18.07.2015 or at least by the statement recorded on 20.07.2015. Those
were the initial inputs, they being in the nature of “information” of a
cognizable offence within the meaning of Section 154 Cr.P.C.

39. If it were so, the complaint in writing submitted under his
signatures by the first informant on 27.07.2015 would be a statement
presented in the wake of the said first information and consequently
hit by the provision contained in Section 162 Cr.P.C.[ Punati Ramulu
Ors. (supra). Conversely, if the statements made on 18.07.2015 and
20.07.2015 are treated as incomplete, or deficient, or cryptic, and

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 21 of 41
consequently not actionable, the complaint submitted on 27.07.2015
which formed the basis of the FIR, turns out to be a materially
improved version. As observed by the Supreme Court in Amar Nath
Jha (supra), “the non-reporting of essential facts which were known to
the informant” requires to be borne in mind and though the FIR “need
not be encyclopedia of the crime‖, it is well-settled that the “absence
of certain essential facts, which were conspicuously missing in the
FIR, point towards suspicion that the crime itself may be staged‖.

40. Recording disapproval of belated complaint submitted after
“deliberations‖ in Punati Ramulu Ors. (supra), the Supreme Court
ruled as under:-

―5. According to the evidence of PW 22, Circle
Inspector, he had received information of the
incident from police constable No. 1278, who was
on ‗bandobast’ duty. On receiving the information
of the occurrence, PW 22 left for the village of
occurrence and started the investigation in the
case. Before proceeding to the village to take up
the investigation, it is conceded by PW 2 in his
evidence, that he made no entry in the daily diary
or record in the general diary about the
information that had been given to him by
constable 1278, who was the first person to give
information to him on the basis of which he had
proceeded to the spot and taken up the
investigation in hand. It was only when PW 1
returned from the police station along with the
written complaint to the village that the same was
registered by the Circle Inspector, PW 22, during
the investigation of the case at about 12.30 noon,
as the FIR, Ex. P-1. In our opinion, the complaint,
Ex. P-1, could not be treated as the FIR in the case
as it certainly would be a statement made during

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 22 of 41
the investigation of a case and hit by Section 162
CrPC. As a matter of fact the High Court recorded
a categorical finding to the effect that Ex. P-1 had
not been prepared at Narasaraopet and that it had
―been brought into existence at Pamaidipadu
itself, after due deliberation‖. Once we find that
the investigating officer has deliberately failed to
record the first information report on receipt of the
information of a cognizable offence of the nature,
as in this case, and had prepared the first
information report after reaching the spot after due
deliberations, consultations and discussion, the
conclusion becomes inescapable that the
investigation is tainted and it would, therefore, be
unsafe to rely upon such a tainted investigation, as
one would not know where the police officer would
have stopped to fabricate evidence and create false
clues. Though we agree that mere relationship of
the witnesses PW 3 and PW 4, the children of the
deceased or of PW 1 and PW 2 who are also
related to the deceased, by itself is not enough to
discard their testimony and that the relationship or
the partisan nature of the evidence only puts the
Court on its guard to scrutinise the evidence more
carefully, we find that in this case when the bona
fides of the investigation has been successfully
assailed, it would not be safe to rely upon the
testimony of these witnesses either in the absence
of strong corroborative evidence of a clinching
nature, which is found wanting in this case‖.

41. Be that as it may, the offence of ―abetment of suicide‖ is made
punishable by Section 306 IPC which reads thus:-

―306. Abetment of suicide.–If any person commits
suicide, whoever abets the commission of such
suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 23 of 41
either description for a term which may extend to
ten years, and shall also be liable to fine‖.

42. As held in Sangarabonia Sreenu vs. State of Andhra Pradesh
(1997) 4 SCC 214, the basic constituents of the offence under Section
306 IPC are “suicidal death and abetment thereof‖. As explained in
M. Mohan vs. State AIR 2011 SCC 238, the word “suicide” is coined
by two expressions they including “sui” which means “self” and
“cide” which means “killing”, thus implying an “act of self-killing”.
To put it simply, the person committing suicide must commit it by
himself irrespective of the means employed by him in achieving his
object of killing himself.

43. As noted earlier, there is not the least any doubt that Chander
Shekhar committed suicide by coming under the wheels of a running
railway train in the morning of 18.07.2015. This satisfies one of the
ingredients of the offence made punishable under Section 306 IPC.
But, the moot question to be addressed is as to whether there is any
person responsible for “abetment of the said suicide”.

44. The expression “abetment” is defined by Section 107 IPC which
reads thus:-

―107. Abetment of a thing.–A person abets the
doing of a thing, who–

First — Instigates any person to do that thing; or
Secondly –Engages with one or more other person
or persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that
thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in
pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to the
doing of that thing; or
Thirdly — Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal
omission, the doing of that thing‖.

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 24 of 41

Explanation1 – A person who by willful
misrepresentation, or by willful concealment of a
material fact which he is bound to disclose,
voluntarily causes or procures, or attempts to
cause or procure, a thing to be done, is said to
instigate the doing of that thing.

Explanation 2 – Whoever, either prior to or at the
time of the commission of an act, does anything in
order to facilitate the commission of that act, and
thereby facilitate the commission thereof, is said to
aid the doing of that act.‖

45. In the context of offence of abetment of suicide, the intention
of the person accused “to aid” or ” to instigate” the deceased to
commit suicide has been always treated to be an essential or a pre-
requisite. The case of Mahendra Singh Anr. vs. State of M.P. 1995
Supp (3) SCC 731 involved suicidal death of a married woman against
the backdrop of allegations constituting the offence of cruelty
punishable under Section 498A IPC. The dying declaration relied
upon by the prosecution seemed to indicate that the deceased had been
subjected to “harassment”. Rejecting the charge of abetment of
suicide “merely on the allegation of harassment to the deceased”, the
Supreme Court observed thus:-

―2. … Abetment has been defined in Section 107
IPC to mean that a person abets the doing of a
thing who firstly instigates any person to do a
thing, or secondly, engages with one or more other
person or persons in any conspiracy for the doing
of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes
place in pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order
to the doing of that thing, or thirdly, intentionally
aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 25 of 41
that thing. Neither of the ingredients of abetment
are attracted on the statement of the deceased‖.

46. In Ramesh Kumar vs. State of Chhattisgarh (2001) 9 SCC 618
in support of the charge for the offence under Section 306 IPC,
reliance had been placed on the dying declaration of the deceased
woman about quarrel between her and the husband (accused)
preceding the incident wherein she had set herself afire. The court
examined different shades of meaning of “instigation” and observed:-

―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 the consequences to actually follow
cannot be said to be instigation.‖

47. Holding in the factual background of that case the accusations
to be unsustainable, the Supreme Court ruled thus:-

―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,

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 26 of 41
discord and differences in domestic life quite
common to the society to which the victim belonged
and such petulance, discord and differences 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.‖

48. The case reported as Chitresh Kumar Chopra vs. State (Govt.
of NCT of Delhi) (2009) 16 SCC 605 also involved the offence of
abetment of suicide. The Court examined the aspect of “abetment”,
having regard to the dictionary meaning of the words “instigation” and
“goading” thus:-

―17. Thus, to constitute ―instigation‖, a person
who instigates another has to provoke, incite, urge
or encourage the doing of an act by the other by
―goading‖ or ―urging forward‖. The dictionary
meaning of the word ―goad‖ is ―a thing that
stimulates someone into action; provoke to action
or reaction‖ (see Concise Oxford English
Dictionary); ―to keep irritating or annoying
somebody until he reacts‖ (see Oxford Advanced
Learner’s Dictionary, 7th Edn.).‖

49. The court then ruled thus :

―20. In the background of this legal position, we
may advert to the case at hand. The question as to
what is the cause of a suicide has no easy answers
because suicidal ideation and behaviours in human
beings are complex and multifaceted. Different
individuals in the same situation react and behave
differently because of the personal meaning they
add to each event, thus accounting for individual

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 27 of 41
vulnerability to suicide. Each individual’s
suicidability pattern depends on his inner
subjective experience of mental pain, fear and loss
of self-respect. Each of these factors are crucial
and exacerbating contributor to an individual’s
vulnerability to end his own life, which may either
be an attempt for self-protection or an escapism
from intolerable self.‖

50. In Sanju @ Sanjay Singh Sengar vs. State of M.P. (2002) 5 SCC
371, the deceased was the husband of the sister of the appellant. The
relations between the deceased and his wife had been strained, the
appellant having allegedly threatened and abused the deceased by
using filthy words, during a quarrel that had taken place two days
prior to the commission of suicide. Expounding on the width and
scope of Section 107 IPC, it was observed:-

―6. Section 107 IPC defines abetment to mean that
a person abets the doing of a thing if he firstly,
instigates any person to do that thing; or secondly,
engages with one or more other person or persons
in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing, if an
act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of
that conspiracy, and in order to the doing of that
thing; or thirdly, intentionally aids, by any act or
illegal omission, the doing of that thing‖.

51. It was further observed:-

―12. … The word ―instigate‖ denotes incitement or
urging to do some drastic or inadvisable action or
to stimulate or incite. Presence of mens rea,
therefore, is the necessary concomitant of
instigation. It is common knowledge that the words
uttered in a quarrel or on the spur of the moment

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 28 of 41
cannot be taken to be uttered with mens rea. It is in
a fit of anger and emotion…‖

52. In the case of Sanju @ Sanjay Singh Sengar (supra) also, the
prosecution had, inter alia, relied on a suicide note left behind by the
deceased. Referring to the factual matrix of the said case, in general,
and construing the suicide note, in particular, the Supreme Court held
thus:-

―14. A plain reading of the suicide note would
clearly show that the deceased was in great stress
and depressed. One plausible reason could be that
the deceased was without any work or avocation
and at the same time indulged in drinking as
revealed from the statement of the wife Smt Neelam
Sengar. He was a frustrated man. Reading of the
suicide note will clearly suggest that such a note is
not the handiwork of a man with a sound mind and
sense. Smt Neelam Sengar, wife of the deceased,
made a statement under Section 161 CrPC before
the investigation officer. She stated that the
deceased always indulged in drinking wine and
was not doing any work. She also stated that on
26-7-1998 her husband came to them in an
inebriated condition and was abusing her and
other members of the family. The prosecution
story, if believed, shows that the quarrel between
the deceased and the appellant had taken place on
25-7-1998 and if the deceased came back to the
house again on 26-7-1998, it cannot be said that
the suicide by the deceased was the direct result of
the quarrel that had taken place on 25-7-1998.
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 IPC.
It is in the statement of the wife that the deceased

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 29 of 41
always remained in a drunken condition. It is
common knowledge that excessive drinking leads
one to debauchery. It clearly appeared, therefore,
that the deceased was a victim of his own conduct
unconnected with the quarrel that had ensued on
25-7-1998 where the appellant is stated to have
used abusive language. Taking the totality of
materials on record and facts and circumstances of
the case into consideration, it will lead to the
irresistible conclusion that it is the deceased and
he alone, and none else, is responsible for his
death‖.

53. Ruling that in such cases as involved allegations of abetment of
suicide, there should be “intention to provoke, insight or encourage
the doing of an act by (the deceased)‖, it was held:

―16. This Court in Chitresh Kumar Chopra v. State
(Govt. of NCT of Delhi) 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‖.

54. Taking a similar view, as above, in its decision in the case of
Gangula Mohan Reddy vs. State of Andhra Pradesh (2010) 1 SCC
750, the Supreme Court further held:

―17. Abetment involves a mental process of
instigating a person or intentionally aiding a
person in doing of a thing. Without a positive act

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 30 of 41
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 this act must have been intended to
push the deceased into such a position that he
committed suicide.‖

55. The law to above effect was reiterated in S.S. Cheena vs. Vijay
Kumar Mahajan Anr. (2010) 12 SCC 190, wherein the Supreme
Court, while tracing the law as declared in Ramesh Kumar (supra) and
Chitresh Kumar Chopra (supra), also took note of the caution
administered in an earlier case reported as State of West Bengal vs.
Orilal Jaiswal (1994) 1 SCC 73 to the following observations:-

―17. … The Court should be extremely careful in
assessing the facts and circumstances of each case
and the evidence adduced in the trial for the
purpose of finding whether the cruelty meted out to
the victim had in fact induced her to end the life by
committing suicide. If it transpires to the Court
that a victim committing suicide was hypersensitive
to ordinary petulance, discord and differences in
domestic life quite common to the society to which
the victim belonged and such petulance, discord
and differences 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 of abetting the offence of
suicide should be found guilty.‖

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 31 of 41

56. In S.S. Cheena (supra), the Supreme Court ruled thus:-

―25. 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.

26. In the instant case, the deceased was
undoubtedly hypersensitive to ordinary petulance,
discord and differences which happen in our day-

to-day life. Human sensitivity of each individual
differs from the other. Different people behave
differently in the same situation‖.

57. In Madan Mohan Singh vs. State of Gujarat Anr. (2010) 8
SCC 628, the person who had committed suicide, was employed as a
driver, under the person who was accused of abetment of such suicide
on the basis of allegations that the latter would harass him by calling
him upon to run his private errand, rebuking him for no fault and
threatening him with suspicion. The deceased had left behind a suicide
note wherein he had expressed anguish with his superior (the accused)
accusing him of having “wronged” the former (the deceased). Based,
inter alia, on the contents of the said suicide note, the widow had
lodged the FIR accusing the petitioner before the Supreme Court of
“bias” and having intentionally insulted her husband in front of the

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 32 of 41
staff, this having led to the husband having got “depressed” and
committing suicide. The superior against whom allegations had been
made (i.e. the accused) had approached the High Court to pray for
quashing of the FIR, invoking its inherent power and jurisdiction
under Section 482 Cr.P.C. on the ground that the proceedings arising
out of such complaint, translated into FIR, were in the nature of abuse
of process of law. The prayer was rejected by the High court and the
matter was taken to the Supreme Court. Argument was raised that the
court “should not go into the merits of FIR” or the “suicide note”. The
Supreme Court rejected the contentions observing that FIR and suicide
note required to be “closely examined” to ascertain if there was “some
material” rendering it a proper complaint. Holding that “the baseless
and irrelevant allegations” could not be used as a basis for
prosecution for a serious offence under Section 306 IPC and observing
that there was “no nexus” between the suicide and the so-called
suicide note – its contents not depicting or ” expressing anything
intentional on the part of the accused‖, it being a rhetoric document,
the proceedings arising out of the FIR were quashed on the following
reasoning:-

―13. … Unless, therefore, there is specific
allegation and material of definite nature (not
imaginary or inferential one), it would be
hazardous to ask the appellant-accused 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

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 33 of 41
reported in Netai Dutta v. State of W.B. , this Court
had quashed the proceedings initiated against the
accused‖.

58. In reaching the above result, the Supreme Court also 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‖.

59. In Gurcharan Singh Vs. State of Punjab (2017) 1 SCC 433, it
was observed thus :-

―21. It is thus manifest that the offence punishable
is one of abetment of the commission of suicide by
any person, predicating existence of a live link or
nexus between the two, abetment being the
propelling causative factor. The basic ingredients
of this provision are suicidal death and the
abetment thereof. To constitute abetment, the
intention and involvement of the accused to aid or
instigate the commission of suicide is imperative.
Any severance or absence of any of these
constituents would militate against this indictment.
Remoteness of the culpable acts or omissions
rooted in the intention of the accused to actualise
the suicide would fall short as well of the offence of
abetment essential to attract the punitive mandate

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 34 of 41
of Section 306 IPC. Contiguity, continuity,
culpability and complicity of the indictable acts or
omission are the concomitant indices of abetment.
Section 306 IPC, thus criminalises the sustained
incitement for suicide.‖

60. Studies have shown that suicide or suicidal behaviours may
occur for a variety of reasons, each mostly concerning the mental state
of mind of the person taking such extreme step, the causes including
depression, fear of social problems or challenges, bipolar disorder,
stress related economic, social or other aspects of life etc. [see 2014
Report of National Crime Records Bureau]. In Mohd. Hoshan, A.P.
and Anr. vs. State of Andhra Pradesh, (2002) 7 SCC 414, the court
analyzed the reason for commission of suicide by a married woman
against the backdrop of she having been subjected to mental cruelty in
the matrimonial home taking into account various factors like
sensitivity of the individual victim, social background, environment,
education, level of endurance, etc. Similarly in Sharad Birdhichand
vs. State of Maharashtra, (1984) 4 SCC 116, the court took note of the
celebrated work titled “Death, Society and Human Experience”
authored by eminent psychiatrist, Robert, J. Kastenbaum to observe,
inter alia, that the circumstances, moods or emotions may drive a
person to become psychotic or severely disturbed so as to commit
suicide, sense of dis-satisfaction or frustration or, at times, even the
objective of revenge goading a person in such direction.

61. In cases where the element of revenge is palpable from the facts
and circumstances attendant upon the commission of suicide,
particularly where such motive is declared by a suicide note, the

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 35 of 41
victim leaves no room for doubt that he proceeded in such direction
impelled by deep sense of bitterness, grudge, hostility or animus, this
requiring the possibility of his wisdom being clouded and
consequently the credibility of his suicide note necessitating close
scrutiny.

62. It is well settled that in order to prosecute a person on the
charge of abetment of suicide of another, there must be evidence
presented to show the requisite mens rea and this requires proof of
commission of certain act(s) with the “intention‖ to push the deceased
into a position that he commits suicide. The act(s) may take the shape
of providing intentional aid to the doing of certain acts that lead to the
suicide or by instigation. The “instigation” may be by offering
provocation, incitement, urging, encouraging, goading or stimulating
into action. To put in simply, commission of suicide must be the
intended objective to be achieved by the person accused of abetment.
While examining the culpability, the court would undoubtedly
discount hyper-sensitivity to ordinary petulance, discord or differences
as happen in day-to-day human interaction. In case of suicide of a
married women in certain circumstances there may be raised
presumption of “abetment” (in terms of Section 113-A of Evidence
Act, 1872). But, in other cases involving allegations of abetment of
suicide, the court must search for evidence of aiding or instigation etc.
Further, the court must bear in mind the evidence as to mental state of
the deceased while construing the other material, particularly the
suicide note, if any. The live link or nexus is to be generally judged
by contiguity, continuity, culpability and complicity.

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 36 of 41

63. The widow (Juhi) of the deceased, in her statement, has not
been specific as to the period around which the deceased had “left the
job” in the company of the petitioners so as to shift to his native
village. In his second statement to the police, recorded on 20.07.2015,
the first informant had indicated that the services of the deceased had
been “terminated” by the employers. However, in the complaint dated
27.07.2015, which formed the basis of the FIR, he changed the version
by claiming that the deceased had “decided” in April, 2015 “to leave”
the employment of the petitioners. Be that as it may, from the
statements of all the witnesses, it is clear that the employment had
continued till date of the suicide, the deceased having remained absent
for sometime and then reported back in June, 2015 for rendition of
accounts. Pertinent to note here that the first informant, brother of the
deceased, and the other witness Anjani Kumar Singh (co-worker) had
also continued to be in the employment of the petitioners at least till
18.07.2015, on the morning of which Chander Shekhar opted to die by
coming under the wheels of a railway train. This is a conduct not
jelling with grievances which were raised nine days after the death.
Though these witnesses do speak about ill treatment meted out to the
deceased by the employers in the preceding weeks, it is clear that they
had made no protest nor lodged any complaint with any authority in
such regard, their endeavour throughout being to assist the deceased in
demonstrating that he had not indulged in any mis-appropriation. On
the contrary, they continued in their jobs till the very last. The
allegations made after the event seem to be product of afterthought.
There is a very high probability that the allegations of physical

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 37 of 41
assaults or threats to lodge police case against this backdrop, leveled
for the first time on 27.07.2015, through the complaint in writing were
“staged”. [see Amar Nath Jha (supra)].

64. There is not a whisper of allegation in any part of the evidence
presented before the Metropolitan Magistrate to the effect that the
petitioners had at any stage instigated, provoked, incited, urged,
encouraged or stimulated the deceased to kill himself. They were
interacting with him, even as per the version of the first informant and
other witnesses of the preceding events, not directly, but through his
brother (first informant) and invariably, and always, in the presence of
others. It is also vivid from the material gathered that the sole
objective of the petitioners was to compel the deceased to render the
accounts for the monies that he had collected on their behalf from
various dealers in the different towns of the State of Haryana. The
statement of sales manager Ved Prakash clearly shows that the
petitioners had agreed to go and visit the offices of various dealers for
such purpose, alongwith the deceased and other employees, for the
reason that they were inclined to adopt a soft approach towards “an
old employee”, whose brother had also served them for more than a
decade. As noted earlier, evidence has come forth to show that certain
cash deposits were made in the personal savings accounts of the
deceased which were contemporaneous to the collections made by him
from various dealers of Haryana for and on behalf of his employers,
this rendering such credits to be ex facie suspect, he having no other
known source of income. No explanation worth the name with regard
to such serious incriminating material against the conduct of the

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 38 of 41
deceased has been offered by his brother (first informant), co-worker
(Anjani Kumar Singh) or his widow (Juhi). This circumstance, in fact,
renders their version that no discrepancy came to light during the tour
of various towns in Haryana, a few days prior to the suicide, in very
poor light.

65. In the document described as suicide note, the deceased very
cryptically accused the company which had employed him to be
responsible for the extreme step that he was (about) to take, he having
been “harassed”. The note is conspicuously silent with regard to the
cause for harassment or result of the tour that had been undertaken to
the offices of various dealers and the revelations that had been made
during such visits. The document reflects at best the perception of the
author and his decision to kill himself. The mental state, possibly
stemming from frustration at not being able to account for money to
the employers, seems to have brought the deceased to the precipice.
Bitterness towards employers is discernible from the document. The
omnibus expression used, intended to rope in the proprietors of the
“company” collectively, even though there is no evidence of
participation in his interrogation by some of them, gives away the
objective of the author to wreck vengeance.

66. Against the backdrop of the fact that there is substantive
evidence collected by the police to support the allegation of the
petitioners about defalcation of money, the suspicion of the petitioners
(employers) in this regard consequently being not unfounded, there
was nothing improper on their part to exert pressure on the employee
(deceased) to come clean by explaining the accounts and the

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 39 of 41
discrepancies that had come to their notice. In such fact situation, they
(the employers) would have been within their legitimate right to
approach the authorities (the police) even for criminal action. It is
clear from the evidence that the petitioners were trying to avoid
approaching the investigative agency of the State as they had been
persuaded to go soft and instead hold in-house inquiry with the aid and
assistance of the brother of the suspect employee and other co-
workers. The allegations of they having hurled abuses or given slaps
to the deceased at the time of his interrogation in the office, in the
presence of his brother or other members of the staff, even if believed
to be true, howsoever unjust or improper the same may be, cannot
become the basis of inference that the intention of the employer(s) was
to create a situation where the deceased was left with no other option
but to take his own life. The threat to lodge a police case against such
backdrop as above can definitely not be treated as illegitimate, not the
least a reason to assume that the intention was to drive the person
suspected of criminal breach of trust to commit suicide.

67. In State of Haryana Vs. Bhajan lal, 1992 Supp (1) SCC 335,
while summarizing the principles of law governing the exercise of the
inherent power under Section 482 Cr. PC, to prevent abuse of the
process of court or otherwise to secure the ends of justice, the
Supreme Court included amongst illustrations where such power could
be invoked to bring an end to the criminal prosecution, cases where
“the uncontroverted allegations made in the FIR or complaint and the
evidence collected in support of the same do not disclose the
commission of any offence and make out a case against the accused.”

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 40 of 41

[also see R.P. Kapur vs. State of Punjab, (1960) 3 SCR 388 and State
of West Bengal Vs. Swapan Kumar Guha, (1982) 1 SCC 561].

68. On the afore-stated facts, and in the circumstances, there is no
live link or nexus between the acts of commission or omission
attributed to the petitioners vis-à-vis the deceased and the act of the
latter resulting in his suicidal death. The Metropolitan Magistrate
while examining the final report of police negativing the case of the
complainant, alongside the protest petition, seems to have formed an
impression on selective reading of one-sided version in the FIR. The
order issuing process not having taken into account the voluminous
evidence to the contrary is perverse and, therefore, cannot be upheld.
There being nothing in the evidence presented to support the
impression of the Magistrate that the deceased had been left by the
petitioners with no other choice but to kill himself, it would be unjust
to call upon them to face the prosecution on accusations which are
imaginary rather than real.

69. In the result, the impugned order dated 03.12.2016 of the
Metropolitan Magistrate is set aside. The proceedings initiated against
the petitioners in the matter arising out of the FIR no.215/2015 of
police station Sarai Rohilla Railway Station are hereby quashed.

70. The petition and the application filed therewith are disposed of
in above terms.

(R.K. GAUBA)
JUDGE

OCTOBER 01, 2018
ysn

Crl. MC 4905/2016 Page 41 of 41

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