Read Order: Babita v. State of Haryana 

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, May 20,2022: While dealing with an appeal by the wife and mother-in-law of the deceased who committed suicide on being forced to given divorce to the accused-wife, thr Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to the petitioners. 

The above-stated conclusion was reached by the Bench of Justice Vikas Bahl on the basis of the finding recorded in the case of State of Punjab Vs. Kamaljit Kaur @ Bholi and Another which was to the effect that a person may be a bad wife but her conduct was not for the purpose to incite the deceased to commit suicide and, thus, abetment of suicide in such a case cannot be inferred. 

The Court was dealing with two petitions under Section 439 Cr.P.C. for the grant of regular bail to the petitioners in an FIR registered under Sections 306 and 34 IPC (Section 506 IPC added later on), at Police Station Kundli, District Sonipat. 

Here in this case, the petitioner-Babita is the mother-in-law of the deceased Vipan and petitioner-Anjali is the wife of the said Vipan. Allegedly, on September 22, 2021, Vipan committed suicide after being forced to give divorce to Anjali. An FIR was thus registered under Section 306 IPC against Anjali and her mother. 

The case of the Counsel for the petitioners argued that the present FIR was registered at the instance of father of the deceased and that no suicide note or dying declaration was available in the case. The Counsel further submitted that no offence under Section 306 IPC was made out inasmuch as the only allegation levelled in the FIR against both the petitioners was that they were pressurizing the deceased to give Anjali a divorce. It was also the case of the Counsel that the suicide was committed in the absence of the petitioner who was at her maternal house. 

It was further the contention of the Counsel that both the petitioners have been in custody since October 2021; the challan was as already presented and there were 21 un-examined prosecution witnesses. Lastly, the Counsel submitted that her committing suicide, the deceased consumed liquor. The Counsel placed reliance on the case of Kamaljit Kaur (Supra) On the other hand, the State counsel as well the counsel for the complainant, while opposing the present petitions, submitted that petitioner-Anjali did not leave her matrimonial house willingly and was rather forcibly taken from there by the co-accused. 

After perusing the above-stated judgment, the Court reiterated that a person may be a bad wife but her conduct was not for the purpose to incite the deceased to commit suicide and, thus, abetment of suicide in such a case cannot be inferred.

Showing agreement with the case advanced by the Counsel for the petitioners, the Counsel observed that the petitioner-Anjali was not even in the same village when her husband committed suicide. The Court also noted that that the deceased had consumed liquor prior to his death and there was no suicide note and the present FIR was registered by the father of the deceased. 

Moreover, the Court held that the fact as to whether in the present case an offence under Section 306 IPC was made out or not would be a debatable issue, which will be finally adjudicated during the course of the trial.

Thus, keeping in view the above-said facts and circumstances, the present petitions were allowed and the petitioners were ordered to be released on bail on their furnishing bail / surety bonds to the satisfaction of the concerned trial Court/ Duty Magistrate and subject to them not being required in any other case.

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