Merely telling someone to ‘go and die’ will not amount to abetment of suicide: Telangana High Court
While acquitting a person in a 2009 case, the Telangana High Court recently held that mere utterance of the words “go and die” will not constitute the offence of abetment of suicide. [Jangam Ravinder V.The State Of AP]
A Bench of Justices K Lakshman and K Sujana said that saying the phrase “go and die” does not meet the ingredients of 'instigation' under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.
Observing that the word “instigate” denotes incitement to do something drastic, the Court said that words uttered in a quarrel on the spur of the moment cannot be taken to be having said with mens rea.
“Mere uttering the words “go and die” will not constitute the offence under Section 306 of IPC,” the judgment said.
The Court was hearing an appeal against a sessions court judgment convicting the appellant under Section 417 (cheating), 306 (abetment of suicide) and Section 3(2) (v) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. He had been sentenced to life imprisonment.
The prosecution alleged that the victim, who belonged to the Scheduled Tribe community, had consumed pesticide after the appellant had refused to marry her.
The appellant had earlier allegedly attempted to rape the victim, but the case was settled when he expressed his willingness to marry her.
The High Court said that the trial court came to the conclusion that the appellant instigated the victim by telling her “go and die”, without discussing the evidence on record in its proper perspective.
“This Court is of the opinion that the evidence on record is not sufficient to convict the appellant/accused as the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond the reasonable doubt."
It was also noted that there was “sexual intimacy” between the accused and victim even till two months before her death.
The Bench further held that the refusal of the accused to marry the victim could not have been the reason for the latter's suicide, as her mother in cross-examination admitted that she had agreed to marry some other person.
Advocate P Prabhakar Reddy appeared for the appellant. Advocate TV Ramana Rao represented the State.