- Apprentice Lawyer
The Bombay High Court at Nagpur recently held that a person who, as part of his employment, demands outstanding loan from a defaulting borrower cannot be considered to have the intention to abet the commission of suicide of the borrower.
A Bench of Justices VM Deshpande and AS Kilor, therefore, quashed the criminal proceedings initiated against the accused under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The Court was hearing a plea filed by Rohit Nalawade to quash the First Information Report (FIR) registered against him for abetting the suicide of a person from whom Nalawade had sought repayment of loan.
The deceased had taken a loan from Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Service Ltd for purchase of a new vehicle, which he agreed to re-pay in four years in monthly installments.
The suicide note written by the deceased, which was recovered by the investigating officer, indicated the involvement of Nalawade in the crime.
In the note and during his inquiry, the investigating officer claimed to have found evidence that the deceased was being harassed by Nalawade for repayment of the loan.
Based on the same, the offence of abetment to suicide came to be registered.
Advocate NB Kalwage appearing for Nalawade submitted that the prosecution failed to establish prima facie that Nalawade had an intention to aid or instigate or abet the deceased to commit suicide.
He submitted that the allegations against Nalawade are only that he was demanding repayment of outstanding loan and that does not amount to his intention to abet commission of suicide.
Additional Public Prosecutor MJ Khan opposed the application submitting that the investigation revealed the deceased was under tremendous mental pressure only because of the demand of outstanding loan which eventually led to him committing suicide.
After considering the facts of the case, the Court came to the conclusion that the allegations are only to the effect that Nalawade demanded outstanding loan amount from the deceased which was part of his duty being an employee of the company.
The Court proceeded to quash the FIR against Nalawade opining that forcing him to face trial before the criminal court would be a futile exercise.