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Ravindran vs State Represented By on 25 July, 2019

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BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED: 25.07.2019

CORAM:

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE G.R.SWAMINATHAN

Crl.A.(MD)No.73 of 2011

Ravindran … Appellant

Vs

State represented by,
The Inspector of Police,
Veeravanallur Police Station,
Thirunelveli,
(Cr.No.65/2008) … Respondent

PRAYER: Criminal Appeal is filed under Section 374 of Cr.P.C., to
call for the records relating to the Judgment dated 01.03.2011
passed by the learned Sessions Judge, Mahila Court, Tirunelveli in
S.C.No.14 of 2009 and set aside the same and acquit the appellant.

For Appellant : Mr.B.Vijay Karthikeyan

For Respondent : Mrs.S.Bharathi
Government Advocate (Crl.side)

JUDGMENT

The appellant was convicted for the offences under

Sections 498A and Section306 of IPC and Section 4 of Tamilnadu

Prohibition of Women Harassment Act and sentenced to two years

rigorous imprisonment, seven years rigorous imprisonment and

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seven years rigorous imprisonment respectively, vide Judgment

dated 01.03.2011 in S.C.No.14 of 2009 on the file of the Mahila

Court, Tirunelveli.

2.The prosecution case is that the appellant got married to

one Pattukani in the year 1999. The appellant was a coolie worker.

Two male children were born through the wedlock. While so, on

02.03.2008, at about 11.00 p.m., the appellant is said to have come

home in a drunken condition and quarrelled with his wife and beaten

her. He is also said to have used certain abusive expressions.

Unable to bear the words uttered by the appellant, Pattukani

committed self immolation. She was rushed to the High Ground

Government Hospital, Tirunelveli. She was given treatment. But

she succumbed to burn injuries on 08.03.2008 at about 02.00 a.m.,

The deceased gave a statement before the Sub Inspector of Police,

Veeravanallur Police Station at 10.00 a.m., on 03.03.2008 (Ex.P1).

Based on the same, Ex.P12-FIR in Crime No.65 of 2008 was

registered at about 04.00 p.m., for the offence under Section 498 A

of IPC and Section 4 of Tamilnadu Prohibition of Women

Harassment Act. Following the death of Pattukani, FIR was altered.

Investigation was undertaken and after recording the statements of

all the witnesses and after completing the usual formalities, final

http://www.judis.nic.inreport was laid against the appellant before the Judicial Magistrate,
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Cheranmahadevi for the offences under Sections 498A and Section306 of

IPC and Section 4 of Tamilnadu Prohibition of Women Harassment

Act. Since the case was exclusively triable by the Sessions Court,

it was committed to the Sessions Court in P.R.C.No.78 of 2008.

It was made over to the Mahila Court, Tirunelveli in S.C.No.14 of

2009. Three charges were framed against the appellant. The

appellant pleaded not guilty and claimed to be tried. In support of

the prosecution case, as many as 14 witnesses were examined.

Ex.P1 to Ex.P17 were marked. M.O.1 and M.O.2 were also marked.

The learned trial Judge, by the impugned Judgment, convicted and

sentenced the appellant as mentioned above. Challenging the

same, this appeal has been filed.

2.Heard the learned counsel on either side.

3.The learned counsel appearing for the appellant

submitted that having regard to the evidence on record, he would

not challenge the finding of guilt in respect of the offence under

Section 498A of IPC. He submitted that he would confine his

challenge only to the conviction of the appellant in respect of the

offences under Section 306 of IPC and Section 4 of Tamilnadu

Prohibition of Women Harassment Act. He further submitted that

http://www.judis.nic.inthe children born through Pattukani are very much with the
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appellant and he is taking good care of them. He further submitted

that the appellant had also been in prison for about eight months.

He further submitted that even while sustaining the conviction

under Section 498(A) of IPC, the sentence may be reduced to the

period already undergone by him.

4.Per contra, the learned Government Advocate (Crl.side)

submitted that the impugned Judgment does not call for any

interference and that, therefore, this appeal should be dismissed.

5.I carefully considered the rival contentions and perused

the evidence on record.

6.In support of its case, the prosecution examined the

parents and the siblings of the deceased. They are P.W.1-

Shanmugam, P.W.4-Valliammal and P.W7-Pattan and two

neighbours namely P.W.5-Swaminathan and P.W.6-Durai were also

examined. It is relevant to note that all of them turned hostile.

The other limb of the prosecution case was the dying declaration

given by the deceased. The deceased had given two dying

declarations in this case. One was before the Judicial Magistrate-

P.W.3 and the other was before the Sub Inspector of Police-P.W.12.

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7.I carefully went through both the dying declarations. It

can be seen there from that the deceased was unhappy with the

way the appellant was leading his life. The deceased in her dying

declaration had stated that on the occurrence night, the appellant

came home drunk and picked up quarrel with her and also broke the

domestic utensils. This Court will have to take note of the social

back ground of the parties. The appellant was only an ordinary

coolie worker. The evils of the alcoholism are too well known. It is

unfortunate that the appellant had got habituated to the habit of

drinking alcohol. Under the said influence, he had picked up quarrel

with her. Now what has to be seen is whether the appellant had

any intention to abet the suicide of his wife namely pattukani. The

Hon’ble Supreme Court in the decision in Crl.A.No.93 of 2019

(Rajesh Vs. State of Haryana) held as follows:-

”7. It is necessary to refer to Section 306 IPC and
Section 107 IPC which reads as under:

”306. Abetment of suicide.If any
person commits suicide,whoever abets
the commission of such suicide, shall
be punished with imprisonment of
either description for a term which may
extend to ten years, and shall also be
liable to fine.

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107. Abetment of a thing.A person
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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.

Explanation 1.A person who, by wilful
misrepresentation, or by wilful
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.”

8. Conviction under Section 306 IPC is not
sustainable on the allegation of harassment without
there being any positive action proximate to the
time of occurrence on the part of the accused,
which led or compelled the person to commit
suicide. In order to bring a case within the purview
of Section 306 IPC, there must be a case of suicide
and in the commission of the said offence, the
person who is said to have abetted the commission
of suicide must have played an active role by an act
of instigation or by doing certain act to facilitate the
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commission of suicide. Therefore, the act of
abetment by the person charged with the said
offence must be proved and established by the
prosecution before he could be convicted under
Section 306 IPC. (See Amalendu Pal alias SectionJhantu v.
State of West Bengal).

9. The term instigation under Section 107 IPC has
been explained in Chitresh Kumar Chopra v. State
(Govt. of NCT of Delhi2) as follows:

”16. Speaking for the three-Judge Bench
in Ramesh Kumar case [(2001) 9 SCC
618 : 2002 SCC (Cri) 1088] , R.C.

Lahoti, J. (as His Lordship then was) said
that instigation is to goad, urge forward,
provoke, incite or encourage to do (2010)
1 SCC 707 (2009) 16 SCC 605: (2010) 3
SCC (Crl.) 367 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. 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
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commit suicide, in which case, an
instigation may have to be inferred. A
word uttered in a fit of anger or emotion
without intending the consequences to
actually follow, cannot be said to be
instigation.

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 to keep irritating or annoying somebody until

he reacts.”

8.Applying the ratio laid down in the above decision, this

Court can safely come to the conclusion that the appellant had no

intention to abet his wife Pattukani to commit suicide. Therefore,

the conviction of the appellant for the offence under Section 306 of

IPC is liable to be set aside. It is accordingly set aside.

9.Now coming to the charge under Section 4 of the

Tamilnadu Prohibition of Women Harassment Act, this Court must

necessarily hold that there is again no evidence to sustain the same.

Even the parents and the brother of the deceased have not

supported the prosecution case. As rightly pointed out by the
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appellant’s counsel, the appellant had also sustained injury. When

he saw that his wife had self immolated herself, the appellant had

attempted to rescue her. This is clearly admitted by P.W.13-

Inspector of Police. Therefore, the conviction of the appellant for

the offence under Section 4 of Tamilnadu Prohibition of Harassment

of Women Act is also set aside.

10.This Court therefore, sustains the conviction of the

appellant only in respect of the offence under Section 498 A of IPC.

But then, having regard to the mitigating circumstances already set

out above, modifies and reduces the sentence to the period already

undergone by him. This criminal appeal is partly allowed.

25.07.2019

Index : Yes/No
Internet : Yes/No
rmi

To
1.The Inspector of Police,
Veeravanallur Police Station,
Thirunelveli,

2.The Sessions Judge, Mahila Court, Tirunelveli.

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G.R.SWAMINATHAN, J.

rmi

Crl.A.(MD)No.73 of 2011

25.07.2019

http://www.judis.nic.in

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