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Jitendra Thakur vs The State Of Madhya Pradesh on 8 January, 2019

1

Cr.R.No.5668/2018

HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH, PRINCIPAL SEAT AT JABALPUR
(SINGLE BENCH : HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE J.P.GUPTA)
Criminal Revision No. 5668/2018

Jitendra Thakur
Vs.
The State of Madhya Pradesh

Shri Ayur Jain, learned counsel for the applicant.
Shri Geetesh Thakur, Govt. Advocate for the respondent /State.

Whether approved for reporting : (Yes / No).

ORDER

(Delivered on day of January, 2019)

This revision petition under Section 397 read with Section 401 of Cr.P.C
has been preferred challenging the impugned order dated 23.10.2018 passed
by IIIrd Additional Sessions Judge, Bhopal in Sessions Trial No. 9600465/2018
whereby against the applicant charges under section 306 of IPC and Section
66 (c) of IT Act have been imposed.

2. The facts giving rise to this petition are that deceased Geeta Thakur
w/o Narmada Thakur, aged 36 years, committed suicide on 17.7.2017 by
consuming some poisonous substance. During the merg inquiry, it was
revealed that the deceased left a suicide note alleging that the applicant was
blackmailing and harassing her and demanding sexual favour and prepared
fake ID on Facebook in the name of Rekha Thakur putting photograph of the
deceased and puts several photographs and made comments on the
corrector and conduct of the deceased which were very shameful to her as
she was a married lady having children and family. During the investigation it
was also found that about the misdeed of the applicant, earlier the matter
was reported to the police station where he was called and matter was
settled as the applicant was near relative of her family of the deceased. Even
though the applicant continuously committed misdeed and made offending
remarks on the Facebook against the deceased and tried to blackmale and
got sexual favour. Therefore, the offence under Sections 306 of IPC and
Section 66 (c) of IT Act was registered as Crime No. 605/2017 and after
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Cr.R.No.5668/2018

investigation, charge sheet was filed and the case was committed to the
Sessions where the charges were framed against the applicant.

3. On behalf of the applicant it is submitted that if the prosecution story
is considered to be true even though no offence under Section 306 of IPC is
made out against the applicant as there is no material to infer that the
applicant has knowledge or intention to instigate the deceased to commit
suicide. In this regard, learned counsel for the applicant has placed reliance
on the judgment of Ramesh Kumar vs. State of Chhatishgarh (2001) 9 SCC
618; in which it is held that :-

“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.

21. In State of West Bangal v. Orilal Jaiswal this Court has
cautioned that 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 her 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
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Cr.R.No.5668/2018

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.”

Hence on the basis of aforesaid contention, learned counsel has
submitted that charges under Section 306 of IPC be set aside.

4. Learned Government Advocate opposed the aforesaid contentions
and submitted that there is sufficient material against the applicant to
prosecute him for commission of offence punishable under Section 306
of IPC.

5. So far as the aforesaid judgment of Ramesh Kumar (Supra) is
concerned; the facts and circumstances of the case are totally different. With
regard to the case of eve teasing, recently a three Judges Bench judgment of
the Apex Court in Pavan Kumar vs. State of Himachal Pradesh 2016 SCC 780 is
more relevant in which the apex Court has dealt with the situation like the
present case. The Apex Court has held as under :-

“1. The present appeal, by special leave, depicts the
sorrowful story of a young girl, in the middle of her teens,
falling in love with the appellant-accused and driven by the
highest degree of youthful fixation, elopes with him,
definitely in complete trust, and after the accused is booked
for the offences punishable under Sections 363, 366 and 376
of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (IPC), she stands behind him
like a colossus determined to support which consequently
leads to his acquittal. In all possibility, she might have
realized that the accused should not be punished, for she
was also equally at fault. Be that as it may, as per the
prosecution version, he was extended the benefit of
acquittal.

2. The sad story gets into a new and different beginning. The
accused feels that he has been prosecuted due to the
prosecutrix and gets obsessed with idea of threatening the
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Cr.R.No.5668/2018

girl and that continues and eventually eve teasing becomes
a matter of routine. Here, as the exposition of the
prosecution uncurtains, a situation is created by the
accused which becomes insufferable, where the young girl
feels unassured and realizes that she could no more live in
peace. The feeling gets embedded and the helpless
situation compels her to think that the life is not worth
living. Resultantly, she pours kerosene on her body and puts
herself ablaze but death does not visit instantly and that is
how she was taken to a nearby hospital, where in due
course of investigation, her dying declaration is recorded,
but she ultimately succumbs to her injuries and the “prana”
leaves the body and she becomes a “body” – a dead one.

3. The question that is required to be answered is whether
the accused can be convicted under Section 306 IPC. The
case of the prosecution as projected is that deceased was
the daughter of the informant, PW-1, Sukh Dev, and after
acquittal in the case under Sections 363, 366 and 376 IPC, the
accused-appellant used to threaten the girl that he would
kidnap her, and had been constantly teasing her. It is the
case of the prosecution that on 18.07.2008 at 9.00 p.m.,
appellant came to the house of informant and threatened
him that he would forcibly take her. As the narration further
unfolds on 19.07.2008 about 10.00 a.m. when the informant
along with his wife was working outside in the field, the
deceased poured kerosene oil on her and set herself ablaze
which was extinguished by the father, and immediately the
Pradhan of Gram Panchayat was informed. The injured girl
was taken to the private hospital at Daulatpur where she
was referred to Chandigarh for further medical treatment
but the informant could not take her to Chandigarh due to
paucity of money and in the evening Pradhan of the village
visited the house of the informant and the deceased gave
5

Cr.R.No.5668/2018

one written document to the Pradhan stating that the
appellant-accused was responsible for her condition
whereafter police was informed and statement of the
informant was recorded and the victim was medically
examined. On 24.07.2008, the dying declaration of the girl
was recorded by the Head Constable in the presence of
medical officer and after the victim expired the post-mortem
was conducted and an FIR was registered. After the criminal
law was set in motion, the investigating agency after
completing the investigation laid the charge-sheet before
the competent court which, in turn, committed the case to
the Court of Session.

4. The accused abjured his guilt and pleaded false
implication. The prosecution in order to establish the charge
examined 14 witnesses. The defence chose not to examine
any witness. The learned Sessions Judge, after hearing the
arguments, posed the following question:

“Whether the prosecution has successfully
proved the liability of accused under Section 306
of IPC beyond the scope of all reasonable
doubts?”;

and answered the question in the negative and consequently
acquitted the accused-appellant vide judgment and order
dated 16-7-2010.

……………

……………

……………

……………

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Cr.R.No.5668/2018

43. Keeping in view the aforesaid legal position, we are
required to address whether there has been abetment in
committing suicide. Be it clearly stated that mere allegation of
harassment without any positive action in proximity to the time
of occurrence on the part of the accused that led a person to
commit suicide, a conviction in terms of Section 306 IPC is not
sustainable. A casual remark that is likely to cause harassment
in ordinary course of things will not come within the purview of
instigation. A mere reprimand or a word in a fit of anger will not
earn the status of abetment. There has to be positive action
that creates a situation for the victim to put an end to life.

44. In the instant case, the accused had by his acts and by his
continuous course of conduct created such a situation as a
consequence of which the deceased was left with no other
option except to commit suicide. The active acts of the accused
have led the deceased to put an end to her life. That apart, we
do not find any material on record which compels the Court to
conclude that the victim committing suicide was hypersensitive
to ordinary petulance, discord and difference in domestic life
quite common to the society to which the victim belonged. On
the other hand, the accused has played active role in tarnishing
the self-esteem and self-respect of the victim which drove the
victim girl to commit suicide. The cruelty meted out to her has,
in fact, induced her to extinguish her life spark.

45. As is demonstrable, the High Court has not reversed the
judgment of acquittal solely on the basis of dying declaration. It
has placed reliance on the evidence of the parents and also
other witnesses. It has also treated the version of the Pradhan
of the Gram Panchayat as credible. All these witnesses have
deposed that the accused after his acquittal engaged himself in
threatening and teasing the girl. He did not allow her to live in
peace.

7

Cr.R.No.5668/2018

46. The harassment caused to her had become intolerable and
unbearable. The father had deposed that the girl had told him
on number of occasions and he had complained to the
Pradhan. All these amount to an active part played by the
accused. It is not a situation where a person is insulted on being
asked to pay back a loan. It is not a situation where someone
feels humiliated on a singular act. It is a different situation
altogether. The young girl living in a village was threatened and
teased constantly. She could not bear it any longer. There is
evidence that the parents belong to the poor strata of the
society. As the materials on record would reflect, the father
could not afford her treatment when case of his daughter was
referred to the hospital at Chandigarh. The impecunious of the
family is manifest. It is clearly evident from the materials
brought on record that the conduct of the accused was
absolutely proactive.

47. Eve-teasing, as has been stated in Inspector General of
Police v. S. Samuthiram, has become a pernicious, horrid and
disgusting practice. The Court therein has referred to the
Indian Journal of Criminology and Criminalistics (January-June
1995 Edn.) which has categorized eve-teasing into five heads,
viz. (1) verbal eve-teasing; (2) physical eve-teasing; (3)
psychological harassment; (4) sexual harassment; and (5)
harassment through some objects. The present case eminently
projects a case of psychological harassment. We are at pains to
state that in a civilized society eve-teasing is causing
harassment to women in educational institutions, public places,
parks, railways stations and other public places which only go
to show that requisite sense of respect for women has not
been socially cultivated. A woman has her own space as a man
has. She enjoys as much equality under Article 14 of the
Constitution as a man does. The right to live with dignity as
guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution cannot be
violated by indulging in obnoxious act of eve- teasing. It affects
the fundamental concept of gender sensitivity and justice and
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Cr.R.No.5668/2018

the rights of a woman under Article 14 of the Constitution. That
apart it creates an incurable dent in the right of a woman which
she has under Article 15 of the Constitution. One is compelled
to think and constrained to deliberate why the women in this
country cannot be allowed to live in peace and lead a life that is
empowered with a dignity and freedom. It has to be kept in
mind that she has a right to life and entitled to love according
to her choice. She has an individual choice which has been
legally recognized. It has to be socially respected. No one can
compel a woman to love. She has the absolute right to reject.

48. In a civilized society male chauvinism has no room. The
Constitution of India confers the affirmative rights on women
and the said rights are perceptible from Article 15 of the
Constitution. When the right is conferred under the
Constitution, it has to be understood that there is no
condescension. A man should not put his ego or, for that
matter, masculinity on a pedestal and abandon the concept of
civility. Egoism must succumb to law. Equality has to be
regarded as the summum bonum of the constitutional principle
in this context. The instant case portrays the deplorable
depravity of the appellant that has led to a heart breaking
situation for a young girl who has been compelled to put an
end to her life. Therefore, the High Court has absolutely
correctly reversed the judgment of acquittal and imposed the
sentence. It has appositely exercised the jurisdiction and we
concur with the same.”

6. In the aforesaid judgment earlier judgment of Ramesh Kumar (Supra)
has also been dealt with. The fact of the present case is less and more are
identical to the present case. In the present case also, the applicant was
harassing the deceased continuously and blackmailing for getting sexual
favour and disseminating offending comments which were making shameful
to the deceased and created such a situation, as a consequence of which, the
deceased was left with no other option except to commit suicide and there is
no material on record which compel this court to infer that the victim
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Cr.R.No.5668/2018

committing suicide was hypersensitive to ordinary petulance, discord and
differences in domestic life quite common to the society to which the victim
belonged. On the other hand, the applicant has played active role
continuously in tarnishing self-esteem and self-respect of the victim which
drove her to commit suicide. The applicant induced her to extinguish her life
spark. In the circumstances, it cannot be said that there is no material on
record to infer that the applicant instigated the deceased to commit suicide.

7. In the circumstances, in view of the observations, the revision petition
has no substance. Accordingly, the petition is rejected.

(J.P.GUPTA)
JUDGE
Digitally signed by
VKV/-

VINAY KUMAR VERMA
Date: 2019.01.08
22:49:44 -08’00’

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