State of Madhya Pradesh vs. Deepak

In the Supreme Court of India
Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction: Appeal No.485 of 2018
Equivalent citation: AIR 2019 SC 5604
Appellant: 
State of Madhya Pradesh
Respondent: 
Deepak Bhamawat
Decided on: 
13th March, 2019 
Bench: 
Hon'ble Justice Dr. Dhananjaya Y. Chandrachud, Hon’ble Justice Hemant Gupta 

Introduction

In India an attempt to commit suicide is punishable. Not only a suicide survivor is liable to criminal punishment but also the one who abets the commission of such suicide. The case of State of Madhya Pradesh v. Deepak deals with Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code and questions the power to exercise revision under Section 397 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.

Facts

The respondent and the deceased were employees in the Central Bank. On 9th August 2017, the deceased committed suicide by consuming poison and was shifted to the District hospital for treatment. 

On the same day in the presence of Naib Tehsildar of Neemuch the dying declaration of the victim was recorded, according to which she alleged that she was molested by Mr Deepak Bhamawat (hereinafter referred to as the respondent) and was unable to get any job because of him. 

The deceased died on 10th August 2017and on 16th August the FIR was registered for the same. After completion of investigation on 22nd September 2017, a charge sheet was submitted before the Special Judge, Neemuch charging under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code and Section 3(2)(v) and Section 3(2)(v)(a) of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Act. On cognizance of which a criminal revision was filed before the Court challenging the above order. 

On 31st January 2018, the learned Single Judge of High Court of Madhya Pradesh passed the judgment discharging the respondent from charges by setting aside the order of Special Judge thereafter, an appeal was filed in the Supreme Court of India. 

Issue:

Whether the High Court under Section 397 read with 401 of Criminal Procedural Code correctly exercised its revisional jurisdiction by discharging the respondent of charges framed by Special Judge, Neemuch. 

Contentions raised

On the basis of the charge sheet, the Deputy Advocate General for the state contended that the respondent by forging the deceased signature had taken a loan that was not paid and a notice was issued by the Central Bank for the same. During the investigation, it was discovered that three complaints were filed by the deceased against the respondent to the Station house officer at P.S. Jeeran on 1st November and 1st December 2016 and another to the Collector of Neemuch on 6th January 2017 alleging that the respondent was harassing her by causing her to terminate her employment and instigating her landlord to oust her from the house. 

On the other hand, the counsel on behalf of the respondent contended that the allegations mentioned in the FIR was false and the High Court was justified in concluding that there was no provocation, inducement, or incitement to fit the description of ‘abetment’, sustaining a charge under Section 306 of Penal Code. 

Observations:

The Court relying on the case of Amit Kapoor v. Ramesh Chander which dealt with the revisional power of the Court observed that the rights of the revisional power of the Court observed that the rights of revisional jurisdiction are limited and should not be against any interim or interlocutory order. Further, one should ascertain whether the documents submitted establishes the offence or not. The Court may only interfere when basic ingredients of a criminal offense are missing or if the allegations are so absurd and improbable that no prudent person can ever reach such a conclusion. 

Further taking in view the case of Ramesh Kumar v. State it was observed that where the accused by his conducts or acts creates such circumstances that the deceased is left with no other choice but to take his life by committing suicide then in such case an ‘instigation’ may be inferred. 

Judgement

Taking into view the facts, contentions, and evidence put forth the Court stated that in the given case there are sufficient materials to uphold the order passed by the Trial Court. The materials emerged during the course of investigation relating to the complaints filed by the deceased, the loan fraudulently taken by the respondent by forging the signature of the deceased, the termination of employment and the eviction of the deceased from the house instigated by the respondent were evidently ignored by the High Court. Based on these reasons the Supreme Court allowed the appeal. 

Conclusion

Setting aside the impugned order of the High Court, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal thereby charging the respondent under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code and Section 3 (2)(v) and Section 3 (2)(v)(a) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Edited by: Purnima Ojha

Reference

Amit Kapoor v. Ramesh Chander, (2012) 9 SCC 460

Ramesh Kumar v. State, (2001) 9 SCC 618

State of Madhya Pradesh v. Deepak, AIR 2019 SC 5604https://caselaw.in/supreme-court/framing-charge-Madhya-pradesh-deepak/4547/