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Mere act of slapping husband publicly not an instigation to commit suicide

Mere act of slapping husband publicly not an instigation to commit suicide

Ms Shikha Gupta Vs State (GNCT OF Delhi)

Delhi HC


CRL. REV. P. 330/2017

About/from the judgment:

Mere act of slapping the husband publicly would not, under normal circumstances, instigate the husband to commit suicide, the Delhi High Court has said.


While setting aside the abetment to suicide charges framed against the wife, Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva observed, "The allegation is that the petitioner slapped the deceased in presence of others. Even if one were to consider the incident of alleged slapping as instigation then one has to keep in mind that the alleged conduct should be such as to drive any normal prudent person into committing suicide. Mere act of slapping the husband in presence of others would not under normal circumstances instigate a husband to commit suicide."


The court was hearing a petition filed by the wife, who had challenged the framing of charge against her under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.


The couple got married in February, 2015 and became parents to a girl child months later. However, disputes arose between them and the woman left the husband's house. The husband then, on August 2, 2015 attempted to commit suicide and passed away the next day.


A suicide note was allegedly recovered and a case of abetment to suicide was lodged by the police. As per the FIR, the husband committed suicide as he was extremely upset because he had been slapped by his wife in front of the family members, just a day before the suicide attempt. The trial court had framed charges, taking note of the proximity of committing suicide with the incident.


Challenging this order, the woman had now submitted that there was no material to suggest that she had instigated her husband to commit suicide in any manner.


Agreeing with her contentions, the court observed, "In the present case, the allegation against the petitioner is that she had slapped the deceased 3 days prior to the deceased committing suicide. There is nothing to suggest that the petitioner instigated, conspired or aided in the commission of suicide by the deceased. There is no allegation against the petitioner that the petitioner instigated or exhorted the deceased to commit suicide."


It further pointed out that the suicide note did not make any reference to the incident of slapping and had in fact referred to several other issues that drove the husband to take such a drastic step.


The court then opined that the trial court had erred in holding that prima facie material existed for framing of charge under Section 306, and observed, "For a charge to be framed not only suspicion but grave suspicion of the accused has committed the offence is necessary. The facts and allegations do not show that there is any instigation or abetment on the part of the petitioner which could have instigated the deceased to commit suicide. Clearly, the investigation has not revealed any conduct on the part of the petitioner which would raise grave suspicion of the petitioner had committed the offence under Section 306 IPC of abetment to suicide."


The petition was, therefore, allowed and the charge framed against the petitioner was set aside.

Read the Judgment


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