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Saraswathiammal vs State By The Inspector Of Police on 21 March, 2019

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT MADRAS

DATED : 21.03.2019

CORAM

THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE A.D.JAGADISH CHANDIRA

Crl.A.No.321 of 2010

Saraswathiammal … Appellant

Vs

State by the Inspector of Police,
K.1, Sembium Police Station,
Chennai … Respondent

Prayer:- Criminal Appeal is filed under Section 374 of Cr.P.C., to set

aside the judgement and conviction dated 12.05.2010 made in

SC.No.401/2007 on the file of the Magalir Neethimandram, Chennai.

For Appellant : Mr.Johnsathyan for
Mr.K.Chandru

For Respondent : Mr.K.Prabakar,
Additional Public Prosecutor

JUDGMENT

This Criminal Appeal is filed, against the Judgment of

conviction and sentence, dated 12.05.2010 made in SC.No.401/2007

on the file of the Magalir Neethimandram, Chennai, convicting and

sentencing the Appellant/1st accused for the offence under Section

498(A) IPC to undergo rigorous imprisonment for three years and to

pay a fine of Rs.1,000/-, in default, to undergo two months simple
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imprisonment and for the offence under Section 306 IPC, to undergo

rigorous imprisonment for five years and to pay a fine of Rs.5,000/-,

in default, to undergo six months simple imprisonment and ordering

the sentences to run concurrently.

2. The case of the Prosecution in brief is as follows:-

The Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sembium Range, filed the

charge sheet against the appellant/A1 and her son-Balakrishnan/A2,

for the offences under Sections 498A and Section306 IPC. The allegations in

the final report was that the marriage between the deceased-Anitha

and the 2nd accused had taken place on 04.05.2001 and that, after

the marriage, the deceased was living with the 2nd accused-her

husband and his mother/A1, the appellant herein, at Door No.2,

Pazhani Aandavar Koil Street, Perambur, Chennai – 11, and that the

deceased did not conceive, even after five years of marriage. Due to

which, the appellant/1st accused used to quarrel with the deceased

and that, she had informed to her father about the harassment by the

appellant/1st accused. When the father of the deceased had enquired

the appellant, she had scolded him in abusive language and from that

day onwards, she used to pick up frequent quarrel with the deceased

and that, whenever, the deceased informed her husband/ 2nd

accused, he also used to scold the deceased.

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3.On 15.05.2006, at about 2.00 p.m., there was a quarrel

between the appellant and the deceased with regard to missing of the

key of the suitcase which the appellant/1st accused has intended to

take with her for her tour programme. When the appellant/1st

accused had abused her stating that the deceased had purposely

taken the key and hidden it somewhere and when the deceased told

her that ‘she did not take the keys’, the appellant had scolded her by

saying “cd;id jtpu ahUk; rhtpia vLf;f KoahJ. bghWf;fp ehna. eP tps’;f

khl;nl. cd; tapww; py; g[S g{r;rp Tl mjdhy; jhd; ,y;iy vd;Wk;. eP mof;fo

nghyP!; !;nlrDf;F nghdtjhnd. ehd; LPUf;F ngha; jpUk;gp tUtjw;Fs; eP

tPli
; l tplL
; ngha;tplDk;” and had assaulted the deceased with Chappals
and that unable to bear the insult and ill-treatment of the appellant

and the passive behaviour of the 2nd accused, in not reprimanding his

mother/ appellant about the ill-treatment meted out to his wife, the

deceased self-immolated herself on 16.05.2006 at about 7.45 a.m.,

and died in K.M.C.Hospital, due to the burn injuries and thereby the

respondent on the statement of the deceased initially registered a

case in Cr.No.604 of 2006 for offence under Section 309 IPC and later

when the victim succumbed to the burn injuries, filed the final report

against the appellant/1st accused and her son for offences under

Sections 498A and Section306 IPC.

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4.The committal Magistrate, on receipt of the final report against

the accused, summoned the accused, furnished copies of relevant

records and documents as required under Section 207 Cr.P.C.

Thereafter, finding that the offences involved in this case are

exclusively triable by the Court of Sessions, committed this case to

the Court of the Principal Sessions Judge, Chennai, and the same was

made over to the Magalir Neethimandram, Chennai, for disposal, in

accordance with law.

5.On appearance of the accused before the trial Court, after

hearing both sides, upon perusing the entire materials on record and

having satisfied prima facie, that there are sufficient grounds to frame

charges against the accused, framed charges against the accused, for

the offences under Sections 498A and Section306 IPC, and the charges were

read over, explained to the accused in the local language, known to

them and questioned about the charges. Both the accused denied

the charges and claimed to be tried.

6.In order to substantiate the case, the prosecution has

examined 16 witnesses as P.Ws.1 to 16 and marked documents as

Exs.P1 to P20, on its side and also marked Material Objects, M.Os.1

and 2. However, no evidence was let in, on the side of the defence.
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7.P.W.1-Murugesan is the father of the deceased. P.W.2-

Sampath is Tenant of the house owned by the appellant/A.1. P.W.3-

Kowsalya is wife of P.W.2. P.W.4-Anjalai is mother of the deceased.

P.W.5-Venkatesan is the witness, who attested the Observation

Mahazar-Ex.P4 and Rough Sketch-Ex.P.18. P.W.6-R.Vijayakumar, the

then XV Metropolitan Magistrate, who recorded the dying declaration

from the deceased in Kilpauk Medical Hospital. P.W.7-Damodararaj is

the duty Doctor in Kilpauk Medical Hospital, who certified to the effect

that the deceased was conscious and in a fit state of mind to give

dying declaration. P.W.8-Kubendran is the photographer. P.W.9-

Mohammed, who signed as a witness for the confession statement

given by the appellant/A.1. P.W.10-Dr.Subbulakshmi, who treated the

deceased in Kilpauk Medical Hospital and issued Ex.P.11-Accident

Register. P.W.11-David Prabhu Kumar, Tahsildar, who conducted

inquest over the dead body of the deceased and issued Ex.P.12-

Inquest Report. P.W.12-Vijayakumar, Personal Assistant to District

Collector, who sent Ex.P.14 report to the Assistant Commissioner of

Police, Sembium Range. P.W.13-Dr.C.Manohar, who conducted post

mortem on the deceased and issued Ex.P.15-Post Mortem Certificate.

P.W.14-Silambu Chelvan, Sub-Inspector of Police, Sembium, who

registered the case in Crime No.604 of 2006 and prepared Ex.P.17-

FIR. P.W.15-Boopathy, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sembium
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Range, who conducted further investigation. P.W.16-K.Rajaram,

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sembium Range, who conducted

further investigation and filed the final report against the accused

under Section 306 IPC and sent the same to the trial Court.

8.Ex.P1, dated 16.05.2006 is the endorsement made by P.W.1 in

the statement of P.W.4, recorded by the Tahsildar. Ex.P2, dated

16.05.2006, is the statement of P.W.3, recorded by the Tahsildar.

Ex.P3, dated 16.05.2006, is the statement of P.W.4, recorded by the

Tahsildar. Ex.P4, dated 15.05.2006 is the Observation Mahazar.

Ex.P5, dated 15.05.2006 is the requisition Seizure Mahazar. Ex.P6,

dated 15.05.2006, is the requisition sent by the Sub-Inspector of

Police to the XV Metropolitan Magistrate. Ex.P7, dated 15.05.2006 is

the Dying Declaration. Ex.P8, dated 15.05.2006 endorsement made

by P.W.7 in the dying declaration at 5.15 pm on 15.05.2006. Ex.P9,

dated 15.05.2006 is the endorsement made by P.W.7 in the dying

declaration at 05.40 p.m. Ex.P10, signature of P.W.9 in the

confession statement of the 2nd accused. Ex.P11, dated 15.05.2006 is

the copy of Accident Register. Ex.P12, dated 16.05.2006, is the

Inquest report. Ex.P13, dated 18.05.2006, is the report of Tahsildar.

Ex.P14, dated 06.06.2006 is the report of the Personal Assistant to

District Collector. Ex.P15, dated 17.05.2006 is the Postmortem
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Certificate. Ex.P16, dated 15.05.2006 is the Complaint. Ex.P.17,

dated 15.05.2006 is the printed FIR. Ex.P.18, dated 15.05.2006 is

the Rough Sketch. Ex.P.19, dated 30.05.2006 is the requisition given

by the Assistant Commissioner of Police to the V Metropolitan

Magistrate. Ex.P.20, dated 16.05.2006 is the requisition given by the

Assistant Commissioner of Police to the District Collector.

9.On completion of the evidence, on the side of the prosecution,

the accused was questioned under Section 313 of Cr.P.C., as to the

incriminating circumstances found in the evidence of the prosecution

witnesses and the accused has come with the version of total denial

and stated to be tried. However, no evidence was let in, on the side

of the defence.

10.The Court below, after hearing the arguments advanced on

either side and also looking into the materials available on record,

while acquitting the 2nd accused found the appellant/1st accused guilty

for offence under Sections 498A and Section306 IPC and awarded

punishment as stated above, which is challenged in this Criminal

Appeal.

11. This Court heard the submissions of the learned counsel on

either side.

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12.The learned counsel for the appellant/1st accused has assailed

the impugned judgement of conviction and sentence, on the following

infirmities, discrepancies and grounds :-

(a) The trial Court ought not to have convicted the appellant

/1st accused for the offences under Sections 498(A) and Section306 of IPC

based on the evidences of P.Ws.1 and 4, who are none other than the

father and mother of the deceased and they are living elsewhere and

that whatever deposed by them can only be hearsay evidence in

respect of the incident that took place on the particular day.

(b) Ex.P7, dying declaration itself would show that the

appellant/1st accused is not responsible for the suicide committed by

the deceased and further, there is absolutely no material, attracting

ingredients of offence under Section 306 of IPC against the

appellant/1st accused.

(c) It is also on record as per the evidence of P.W.3, the

neighbour, that there used to be frequent quarrels between the

appellant/1st accused and the deceased and that they used to

compromise with each other after quarrels and it was the regular

conduct of their affairs. Petty quarrels between the appellant/1st

accused and the deceased would not tantamount to cruelty either

mental or physical and there was no big fight between them, at any

point of time. When such being so, the allegations against the
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appellant/accused cannot be held guilty for the petty quarrels and

further that there are material on record to show that the victim had

assaulted the appellant/mother-in-law on an earlier occassion,

thereby, offence under Section 498(A) I.P.C., is not attracted.

13.The learned counsel for the appellant/1st accused would

contend that reading of the dying declaration would only infer that

the death of the deceased is due to accidental fire and not due to

suicidal and it is the admitted case of the deceased herself in the

dying declaration that there was a quarrel in the morning, thereafter,

husband of the deceased/A.2 had come home and consoled her and

gone back to work and thereafter, being humiliated by the conduct of

the appellant/accused the victim had poured kerosene over herself

and since, she was afraid, she started crying and thereafter expecting

that somebody would come and console her had been lighting the

match stick and putting it off repeatedly and unexpectedly,

accidentally, she set her ablaze. Immediately on hearing the noise,

neighbour of the deceased one Ganesan came, doused the fire and

saved her. It could be evident from the reading of the dying

declaration which would go to show that it is not the intention of the

deceased to commit suicide and she had set fire by an accidental act

while she was continuously lighting the match box and putting it off
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expecting someone would come and console her and that there was

no intention on the part of the appellant/1st accused to abet the

deceased to commit suicide.

14.Further, the learned counsel for the appellant would submit

that it is the case where no demand of dowry was made and that as

per the dying declaration, the deceased herself had stated that

immediately after the incident, her mother-in-law came and lamented

stating why she had attempted to do such a thing. In such

circumstances, the trial Court ought to have analysed the evidences

with the other circumstances and having acquitted the husband of the

deceased/A.2, ought to have acquitted the appellant/A.1 also.

15.The learned Additional Public Prosecutor for the respondent

would vehemently oppose stating that the statement of the deceased

is clear and it is admissible in law and that the deceased has spoken

about the circumstances and the transaction under which she was led

to commit suicide and that the transaction which ensued after the

fight between the appellant/accused and the deceased would show

that there was wilful conduct of the appellant/accused, which is of

such a nature to drive the woman to commit suicide and thereby the

appellant/accused is liable for the acts for having subjected the
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deceased to drive her to commit suicide and hence, the impugned

judgement of conviction and sentence warrants no interference by

this Court.

16.Heard both sides and perused the materials available on

record.

17.I have given my careful and anxious consideration to the rival

contentions put forward by either side and thoroughly scanned

through the entire evidence available on record and also perused the

impugned judgement of conviction.

18.Now, what is to be seen is whether the prosecution has

proved the charges against the accused by letting in evidence beyond

reasonable doubt and whether the trial Court is right in convicting the

appellant/accused for the charges framed against her ?

19.P.W.1, is the father of the deceased Anitha. P.W.2-Sampath

is the tenant, owned by the appellant/1st accused. P.W.3, wife of

P.W.2. P.W.4-Anjalai is the mother of the deceased. Deceased was

given in marriage to the 2nd accused and their marriage was taken

place on 04.05.2001. As per the evidence let in by P.W.1, it was

informed that the 2nd accused was working in Chennai Metro Water
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Board and only after marriage, it came to light that the 2nd accused

was running a barber shop. After marriage, the deceased was living

with her husband in a peaceful manner only for 6 months and that

thereafter, the appellant as well as her son/2nd accused used to pick

up petty quarrels with the deceased. Since, the deceased did not

conceive, there used to be frequent quarrels and ill treatment of the

deceased and that whenever P.W.1 enquired, the deceased had

informed that the appellant and her son/2nd accused used abusive

language against her.

20.Further, it is the evidence of P.W.1, that during 2003, the

appellant/1st accused had attempted to cause injury on the deceased

with sickle and that the deceased went and stayed in the house at the

ground floor and P.W.1 was informed about the incident by the

neighbours. When P.W.1, came to Chennai to see his daughter, she

informed the same and they went to the Police Station and gave a

complaint and thereafter, the matter was compromised in the Police

Station and the deceased started living with the appellant and her

son. After sometime, the deceased and 2nd accused lived separately

for one year and since, they were unable to pay the rent, they came

back and started living in the house of the appellant and that during

2006, when the appellant was about to go for a tour, keys of her suit
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case were found missing and that the appellant had blamed the

deceased and that there was a wordy quarrel.

21.On 15.05.2006, a friend of the 2nd accused telephoned P.W.1

and informed stating that his daughter had set her ablaze by pouring

kerosene and asked all of them to come to Chennai and on

16.05.2006 at about 3.00 a.m., when P.W.1 had come to Kilpauk

Medical College and Hospital, to see his daughter, she had told him

that it had happened due to ill-treatment of the appellant/accused

and after sometime, she died in the hospital. Endorsement made by

P.W.1 in the statement of P.W.4 recorded by the Tahsildar is marked

as Ex.P.1 and the statement of P.W.4, recorded by the Tahsildar is

marked as Ex.P.3.

22.P.W.10-Dr.Subbulakshmi, was the duty Doctor in the

emergency ward in the Kilpauk Medical College and hospital, Chennai

and she had deposed that the deceased was brought with burn

injuries on 15.05.2006 by her husband/A.2 at about 2.15 p.m., and

she had informed that the deceased self immolated herself because of

the quarrel between the deceased and her mother-in-law/the

appellant. Further, the Doctor deposed that the burn injuries were

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seen in the face, both legs and the deceased was admitted as an in-

patient and given treatment for the burn injuries. Copy of the

accident register issued by P.W.10 is marked as Ex.P.11.

23.P.W.14-Sub-Inspector of Police, on receipt of intimation from

the hospital, went to the hospital and recorded Ex.P.16 statement

from the deceased and got her left thumb impression in the complaint

and thereby registered the case in Crime No.604 of 2006 for the

offence under Section 309 IPC. The printed the copy of the FIR is

marked as Ex.P.17.

24.P.W.14-Investigating Officer took up the case for

investigation and prepared Observation Mahazar-Ex.P.4, Seizure

Mahazar-Ex.P.5, Rough Sketch-Ex.P.18 in the presence of the

witnesses. P.W.8 is the photographer, who took the photographs at

the scene of occurrence and took the photograph of the deceased,

after her death in the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, Chennai.

Photographs taken by him were marked as M.O.2 series.

25.P.W.6 is the XV Metropolitan Magistrate, who had on receipt

of Ex.P.6, requisition from the Sub-Inspector of Police, to record the
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dying declaration from the deceased, had gone to Kilpauk Medical

College and Hospital, Chennai, at about 05.15 p.m., and got an

endorsement about the fitness of the deceased in Ex.P.7 from the

duty Doctor Damodararaj-P.W.7 and recorded Ex.P.7-dying

declaration from the deceased. After recording dying declaration,

duty Doctor-P.W.7 also certified to the effect that the deceased was

conscious and in a fit state of mind while the dying declaration was

recorded.

26.Thereafter, the respondent police received information from

the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, Chennai, that the deceased

had died and since, her death was within 7 years from her marriage,

the case was altered to under Section 306 IPC and it was handed

over to the Assistant Commissioner of Police-P.W.15, for further

investigation. He took up the case for further investigation and sent

a requisition to Personal Assistant to the District Collector to conduct

an enquiry, whether any cruelty or demand of dowry has made on the

deceased. P.W.12-N.Vijayakumar, Personal Assistant to District

Collector had forwarded the same to the Tahsildar for further action

and P.W.11-Tahsildar, on receipt of the intimation from P.W.12, went

to the Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital, Chennai and conducted

inquest on the body of the deceased in the presence of the witnesses
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and panchayatars. Inquest Report is marked as Ex.P.12. P.W.13-

Dr.Manohar, Professor of Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital,

Chennai, had deposed that he conducted post mortem and issued

post mortem certificate under Ex.P.13 and the following injuries were

found on the deceased,

“Epidermo-dermo epidermal burns with
denuded cuticle exposing the reddish area
seen over the face, neck, both sides of the
chest and part of abdomen, front and back of
both upper limbs, back of the trunk and front
of both thigh (71% Burns). Both eyes are
found eviscerated for corneal graft purpose.

No other external or any internal injury are
noted.”

27.Further, P.W.13 had given an opinion that the deceased

would have died due to Hypovolumic shock and due to burns and

thereby, P.W.15-Assistant Commissioner of Police altered the case

under Section 306 IPC and arrested the accused. P.W.16-Assistant

Commissioner of Police, completed the investigation and filed the final

report against the accused. Thereafter, the trial Court framed

charges against the appellant for offences under Sections 498A and

Section306 IPC.

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28.In this case, admittedly there are 2 dying declarations, one in

the form of statement recorded by P.W.14-Sub-Inspector of Police

under Ex.P.16 and another dying declaration recorded by the XV

Metropolitan Magistrate, which is marked as Ex.P.7. In both the

dying declarations, the victim has stated about the frequent quarrels

that happened between herself and her mother-in-law, the appellant

herein. In the 2nd dying declaration, though there are minor

contradictions in respect of the earlier statement given by the

deceased, one thing is clear that there had been frequent quarrel

between her and that the appellant/1st accused and that the appellant

used to abuse her and that on the particular day, there being a

quarrel, the appellant had abused her. On the analysis of the dying

declaration recorded by P.W.6-XV Metropolitan Magistrate, this Court

can infer that the deceased did not actually intend to commit suicide

and she had accidentally caught fire. At this juncture, it would be

appropriate to refer to the relevant portion of the contents of the

dying declaration.

“……. vd; tPl;Lf;fhuh; vd;id rkhjhdk; bra;J itj;J tpl;L
rY}Df;F ngha; tpl;lhh;/ vd; khkpahh; vd;id nftykhf ngrpaJ
vdf;F mrp’;fkhf ,Ue;jJ/ vdf;F mtkhdkhf ,Ue;jjhy;
ehnd vd; kPJ bfurpid Cw;wpf; bfhz;nld;/ bfhSj;jpf;bfhs;s
gakhf ,Ue;jjhy; rj;jk; nghl;L mGJ bfhz;oUe;njd;/
mg;nghJk; ahUk; tutpy;iy/ tj;jpf;Fr;rpia Vw;wp g[lit kPJ gw;w
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itj;J. gw;w itj;J mizj;Jf; bfhz;oUe;njd;/ mg;nghJ
jpObud;W vd;kPJ beUg;g[ ntfkhf gpoj;Jf; bfhz;lJ/ vjph;
tPl;oypUe;Jk; fnzrd; vd;gth; Xo te;J jPia mizj;jhh;/ vd;
khkpahh; mg;nghJ te;J ehd; vd;d brhd;ndd;. rhtpia
vLj;jhah vd;W jhnd nfl;nld; vd;W brhd;dhh;/ Mdhy; mth;
jpl;oajhy; jhd; ehd; bfhSj;jpf;fpl;nld; mt;tst[jhd;/“

29. It is appropriate to refer to Section 306 IPC:-

“20.Section 306 of the Code prescribes the
punishment for abetment of suicide and is designed
thus:

“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.”

30.The ingredients of abetment of suicide are as follows:-

The prosecution has to prove-

(i)the deceased committed suicide;

(ii)the accused instigated or abetted for committing

suicide and that

(iii)there was direct involvement by the accused in such

abetment or instigation.

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31. Before Section 306 of IPC can be acted upon, there must be

clear proof of the fact that the death in question was a suicidal death.

The offence of ‘abetment’ must conform to the definition of that term

as given in Section 107 of IPC, that is to say, there must be

instigation, cooperation or intentional assistance given to the

commission of suicide. It is not necessary or indeed is it a part of the

definition that the suicide should have been committed in

consequence of the abetment.

32.Admittedly, it is not a case of dowry death. As stated above

the ingredients, the prosecution has to prove that the victim

committed suicide and that the accused abetted the suicide. While

analysing the dying declaration, the victim had stated that she was

lighting the match stick and putting it off repeatedly expecting that

somebody would come and console her, whereas suddenly the match

stick lit the saree and thereby she caught fire, inferring that the

victim caught fire accidentally and the death is not suicide. Further

the term instigation under Section 107 IPC, explained in Chitresh

Kumar Chopra Vs. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi) 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)
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said that 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.
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 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” (see Concise Oxford English Dictionary); “to
keep irritating or annoying somebody until he reacts”
(see Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 7th Edn.).”

10.Words uttered in a fit of anger or omission
without any intention cannot be termed as instigation.

(See Praveen Pradhan Vs. State of Uttaranchal).”

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33.The same view has been taken by the Hon’ble Apex Court in

the recent decision of M.Arjunan Vs. The State rep. By its

Inspector of Police (Crl.Appeal.No.1550 of 2018, dated

04.12.2018)

(Crl.Appeal.No.1550 of 2018)

“8. The essential ingredients of the offence under
Section 306 IPC are (i) the abetment : (ii) the
intention of the accused to aid or instigate or abet
the accused to commit suicide. The act of the
accused, however, insulting the deceased by using
abusive language will not, by itself, constitute the
abetment of suicide. There should be evidence
capable of suggesting that the accused intended by
such act to instigate the deceased to commit
suicide. Unless t

he ingredients of instigation / abetment to commit
suicide are satisfied, accused cannot be convicted
under Section 306 IPC.”

34.At this juncture, the learned counsel for the appellant would

submit that though this Court may not place relevance on the

statement recorded during Revenue Divisional Officer enquiry, it is

the admitted statement of P.W.2-Kowsalya, the tenant, that the

deceased also assaulted her mother-in-law, which resulted the

appellant to use abusive language on the deceased. So, the entire
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circumstances leading to the death of the victim/deceased cannot be

attributed to the appellant alone and further, he would submit that it

is the statement of the deceased herself that immediately after the

occurrence, the appellant had lamented about the conduct of the

deceased for having committed such an act that the appellant did not

have the intention or motive to drive the victim to commit suicide and

that the reason for the death of the victim could not be due to

suicide.

35.While analysing the evidence on record, with reference to the

Judgment referred above, it can be inferred that the victim/deceased

did not intend to commit suicide. As stated in the dying declaration

she had been lighting the match stick and putting it off and was

crying, expecting that somebody would come and console her. While

she was lighting the match stick and putting it off, she had

accidentally lit the fire on her saree, resulting in her sustaining burn

injuries, ultimately leading to her death. Further, it is the statement

of the victim/deceased that the appellant/1st accused rushed to place

and lamented saying why she had done that and that she had only

asked for the keys. Admittedly, there used to be frequent quarrels

between the appellant/mother-in-law and the deceased/daughter-in-

law, and that there is also evidence that the victim had earlier
http://www.judis.nic.in
23

assaulted the appellant/1st accused. When such being so, the words

uttered by the appellant/1st accused can only be taken as words

uttered in a fit of anger or omission without any intention to instigate

the victim/deceased to commit suicide. However perusal and reading

of the evidence on record makes out charges against the accused for

offences under Section 498A IPC.

36.In the light of the decisions referred and the reasons stated

above, this Court is of the considered view that the Prosecution has

miserably failed to prove the guilt of the accused under Section 306

of IPC and however, taking into consideration the evidences in

totality, this Court is of the opinion that the prosecution has proved

the charges against the appellant/1st accused for having committed

offence under Section 498A IPC, thereby this Court while setting

aside the conviction for offence under Section 306 IPC, confirms the

conviction for offence under Section 498A IPC.

37.In the result, this Criminal Appeal is partly allowed. The

impugned judgement of conviction and sentence, dated 12.05.2010

made in S.C.No.401 of 2007, on the file of the Magalir

Neethimandram, Chennai, is set aside in respect of the offence under

http://www.judis.nic.in
24

Section 306 of IPC alone. The Appellant/1st accused is acquitted from

the charges levelled against her for the offence under Section 306 IPC

alone. The fine amount, if any, paid by the appellant for the offence

under Section 306 IPC is directed to be refunded to her. However, in

respect of the offence under Section 498A IPC, while confirming the

conviction under Section 498A of IPC, the period of sentence is

modified to the period already under gone by the appellant/1st

accused.

Jer 21.03.2019

Index:Yes/No
Web:Yes/No
Speaking/Non Speaking

To
1.Magalir Neethimandram, Chennai.
2.The Inspector of Police,
K.1, Sembium Police Station,
Chennai.
3.The Public Prosecutor,
High Court, Madras.
4.The Section Officer
Criminal Section
High Court, Madras.

http://www.judis.nic.in
25

A.D.JAGADISH CHANDIRA, J.

Jer

Crl.A.No.321 of 2010

21.03.2019

http://www.judis.nic.in

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