IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA
(CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION)
C.R.A No. 105 of 2010
Monoranjan Koley Anr.
The State of West Bengal
Present: The Hon’ble Justice Siddhartha Chattopadhyay
For the Appellant : Mr. Sekhar Basu
Mrs. Anusuya Sinha.
For the State : Mr. Ranabir Roy Chowdhury,
Ms. Faria Hossain.
For the De Facto Complainant : Swapan Kumar Mallik.
Heard On : 06.07.2017.
C.A.V. On : 06.07.2017
Judgment Delivered On : 24.07.2017.
Siddhartha Chattopadhyay, J.:
The appellants called in question the judgment and order dated
and 22.12.2009 passed by the learned Additional District and
Sessions Judge, 2nd Fast Track Court, Chandannagar, Hooghly, in S.T. No. 26 of
2009 convicting the appellants under Section 498A, 354, 306, read with Section
109 of I.P.C.
2. According to the appellants, the judgment passed by the learned Trial
Court is without any valid reasons and that there is no evidence in respect of
Section 498A/354/306/109 of I.P.C.
3. In the interest of effective adjudication, factual scenario needs to be
revisited. Shorn of unnecessary details, the prosecution case in a capsulated
form is such that that the victim’s marriage was held with the appellant No. 1 in
2004. On the eve of ‘Ashtomongala’, the victim came to her parents’ house and
told her mother that a friend of her husband used to outrage her modesty with
the consent of her husband. The victim reacted and did not agree to give consent
to such obnoxious behaviour but her husband compelled her to do so. The
grievance ventilated in the F.I.R. also speaks that the said friend used to come to
the house of the victim’s parents when the victim had been there. This type of
outraging of modesty was going on for some days and she raised objection.
Thereafter, the husband of the victim told her that she had to entertain his
friends. Then the victim committed suicide.
4. Now, this Court is to consider whether there is any element of Section
306 of I.P.C or not. At the sometime, the Court is to consider meticulously
whether the alleged incident could be possible in presence of many others. The
P.W. 1 categorically stated that the appellant No. 2 used to molest her sister on
the instruction of the appellant No. 1 off and on. He also stated that his sister
protested the said illegal act and informed the matter to the husband/appellant,
who did not pay any heed to. From his cross-examination, it transpires that
appellant No. 2 got married before the marriage of his sister. He admitted that
when the appellant No. 2 molested or outraged the modesty of the victim, he did
not inform Panchayat or Police Station regarding the alleged physical torture by
the accused and that he did not say anything to the present appellant No. 1
regarding the said dispute.
5. The P.W. 2 has tried to improve the case by saying that on the day of
‘Fulsajja’ he found the appellant No. 2 sitting by the side of the victim putting his
hand on her shoulder. He further stated that when the victim came after 9 days
of her marriage, she disclosed his wife (P.W. 2) that the appellant No. 1 allowed
his friend to his bed which the victim disliked. In course of his cross-
examination, however, she failed to say whether the victim was sentimental or
not. In course of cross-examination he has also tried to improve the case by
saying that the appellant No. 1 had illicit relationship with the wife of the
accused No. 2. In course of cross-examination, the Investigating Officer has
categorically stated “P.W. 2 did not tell me that the accused No. 1 had any illicit
relationship with the wife of the accused No. 1.”
6. The P.W. 3, is the uncle of the victim. He stated that the accused tried to
encourage the victim to have an illicit relationship with the appellant No. 2 and
for which the victim committed suicide. He further stated that he told the
Investigating Officer about the said fact.
7. The P.W. 4 is the sister of the victim. She said that on the day of
‘Boubhat’ she found that the friend of the appellant No. 1 embraced the victim
and also kissed the victim. This statement is not gullible because it is expected
that on the day of ‘Boubhat’ many persons were there and out of them only this
P.W. 4 found the appellant No. 2 to embrace the victim and kissed the victim
openly. The father of the victim stated that at the time of marriage the appellant
No. 2 tried to molest the victim at the instigation of the appellant No. 1. How far
it is acceptable? In our society and particularly when it is a negotiated marriage
many people are supposed to be invited to the marriage and to dine together. At
that time the appellant No. 2 attempted to molest the victim. It could be believed,
if on the same day any of them present there raised protest and obstructed the
appellant No. 2 to commit such offence. This P.W. 5 further stated that the
appellant No. 1 used to instigate the victim to behave with ‘the appellant No. 2 ‘as
husband and wife’. In course of cross-examination this witness stated that he
told the Investigating Officer that on the day of ‘Ashtomongala’ the appellant No.2
came with his daughter and son-in-law (appellant No.1) in their house. But when
such question was put to the Investigating Officer, the said Investigating Officer
(P.W. 14) who stated that this P.W. 5 did not tell anything to him in this regard.
8. The P.W. 6, also stated about the same thing i.e. the appellant No. 2
kissed the victim and also embraced her and that the appellant No. 2 was coming
down from the roof by embracing the victim and his hand was on the shoulder
of the victim. The P.W. 7 and the P.W. 8 also led the evidence in the same tone
and tune. The probability factor cannot be ruled out that if it is possible for a
friend of the husband to commit such type of an offence in presence of the
husband, female members of the victim and other relatives and within their
9. While deciding a case a court should not be oblivious to the probability
factor. If at all such incident happened, certainly the victim’s family members,
who were present in the said marriage ceremony, would rise to the occasion and
would protest and at the same time they ought to have taken their allegation up
to police station. A court of law cannot overlook this aspect. Robust common
sense, shall be the guiding factor.
10. When and why a person commits suicide? It depends on the mind set
of an individual. In similar circumstances, one man may commit suicide but
others may not.
11. These factors are sense of unbearable psychological pain, a sense of
isolation from others and a perception that death is the only solution, when the
said individual is temporarily unable to think candidly being blinded by
overwhelming pain. The researchers pointed out that negative emotions, shame,
anger, fear, sense of guilt and extreme sadness may be the foundation for self-
12. There are many other prime factors such as recent extreme stresses,
social pressure, chronic pain, physical disease, social stigma, any kind of trauma
of permanent nature and severe depression, which are considered as one of the
reasons of suicide.
13. More often than not suicide stems from blocked or unfulfilled
psychological needs. This tends to be what causes the pain that the suicidal act
seeks to end. A pervasive sense of hopelessness, defined in terms of pessimistic
expectations about the future, is even more important than other form of
negative emotions, such as anger and depression, in predicting suicidal
behaviour. In such a situation, the person who commits suicide is fully
convinced that nothing can be done to improve his situation. Sometimes some
people contemplate suicide. They have ambivalent feelings about this decision.
Therefore, the suicide provides a distinctive way to escape from intolerable
circumstances, which includes painful self-awareness. The cessation can be
visualized as offering a solution to life’s problems.
14. A person’s mind and body may react to trauma over a period time,
perhaps days, weeks or months so the people suffering from a trauma react in
different ways, suicide is the result of ‘psychotic’. An unbearable psychological
pain arising largely from frustrated psychological needs. It is said there is a great
deal of psychological pain in the world without suicide but there is no suicide
without a great deal of psychological pain.
15. But these are not the instances of any kind of abetment. There is no
complaint before the police authority or before court by the complainant or by the
relatives immediately or within a reasonable time. The victim would be the best
witness to say about the molestation. She is no more in the world. There is no
suicidal note. In such circumstances, the appellants deserve benefit of doubt.
16. Accordingly, the appeal is allowed. The judgment and order of
conviction are hereby set aside. The appellants be set at liberty at once and they
be discharged from their respective bail bonds.
17. Let a copy of this order and LCR be sent to the learned Court below at
once for information and taking necessary action.
18. Urgent certified photocopy of this order, if applied for, be supplied to
the parties upon compliance with all requisite formalities.
(SIDDHARTHA CHATTOPADHYAY, J.)