18 October 2019
Supreme Court


Case number: Crl.A. No.-002181-002181 / 2009
Diary number: 29731 / 2009


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009






State of West Bengal                   ...Appellant


Indrajit Kundu & Ors.                 ...Respondents

J U D G M E N T  

R.Subhash Reddy,J.  

1. This  appeal  is  preferred  by  the  State  of  West

Bengal  through  Principal  Secretary,  Home  Department,

aggrieved by the judgment and order dated 30.07.2019

passed by the High Court at Calcutta in C.R.R.No.3473

of 2008.

2. By  the  impugned  order,  the  respondents-accused

were discharged of the charge framed against them under

Section 306 read with Section 34 of Indian Penal Code.

The victim, daughter of the de facto complainant was a


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

2  painter  and  artist.  To  improve  her  proficiency  in

English, first respondent was appointed as her English

teacher.  Respondent Nos. 2 and 3 are his parents.

There developed intimacy between the victim and first

respondent – Indrajit in course of coaching.  It is the

allegation  of  the  complainant  that  as  the  deceased

victim and first respondent had decided to  marry, to

finalise the proposal of marriage the victim had gone

to the house of first respondent on 05.03.2004.  It is

alleged  that  when  the  victim  went  to  the  house  of

first respondent, respondent Nos. 2 and 3 who are the

parents  of  the  first  respondent  came  out  to  raise

shouts and addressed the victim as a call-girl.  The

words uttered by respondent Nos. 2 and 3, as per the de

facto complainant are “you are a call-girl, why my son

would marry you, we would give our son in marriage

elsewhere”.  It is alleged in the complaint that at

that time,  first respondent did not protest against

the version of his parents and his daughter returned

home and became mentally perturbed.  On 06.03.2004 at

about 1.00 p.m. the victim had committed suicide.

3. On the complaint of the de facto complainant, a

case was registered in Jorabagan Police Station against


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

3  respondents  under  Section  306  IPC  and  thereafter

charge-sheet was filed.

4. There were two suicide notes. In one suicide note,

the  deceased  has  stated  that  parents  of  first

respondent abused her in silly words by calling her a

call-girl.  In another note, which was addressed  to

the first respondent, has stated that the father of

first  respondent stigmatized  her as  a call-girl  and

first respondent has not responded to such utterances.

Further  it  is  stated  that  first  respondent  is  a

coward.  After conducting investigation, charge-sheet

was  filed  under  Section  306/34  IPC  against  all  the

three accused.  Case was committed to the 7th Fast Track

Court, Sessions Court, Calcutta, numbered as Sessions

Case No.11 of 2006.

5. Accused-respondents earlier filed application for

discharge, the same was rejected by the Trial Court by

order dated 19.04.2007.  Thereafter, respondents have

filed an application under Section 482 Cr.P.C. before

the  High  Court  in  C.R.R.No.1817  of  2007  which  was

disposed of with the direction to respondents-accused

to raise all the points before the learned Trial Court.

At the stage of framing of charges respondents have

raised objections claiming that no case is made out


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

4  against them to frame charge for the alleged offence

under  Section  306/34  IPC.   The  learned  Additional

District and Sessions Judge by order dated 04.09.2008

overruled the objections of the respondents observing

that  as  there  is  a  probability  of  accused  being

convicted, charge can be framed.  It is observed in the

order that there is a reasonable likelihood for accused

persons to be convicted under Section 306 IPC.  Against

the said order, respondents have approached the High

Court  again  under  Section  401/482  Cr.P.C.  in

C.R.R.No.3473 of 2008.

6. By the impugned order, the High Court by recording

a finding that terming the deceased as a call-girl,

there was no utterance which can be interpreted to be

an  act  of  instigating,  goading  or  solicitation  or

insinuation,  the  deceased  to  commit  suicide.   By

referring to the case law decided by this Court wherein

similar  utterances  like,  “to  go  and  die”  does  not

constitute  an  offence  for  abetment,  allowed  the

application filed by the respondents.  It is observed

in the order that the act or conduct of the accused,

however insulting and abusive, will not by themselves

suffice  to  constitute  abetment of  commission  of

suicide,  unless  those   are  reasonably  capable  of


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

5  suggesting that the accused intended by such acts, the

consequence of suicide.  By discussing the case law on

the subject, the High Court allowed the application by

setting  aside  the  order  of  the  Trial  Court  and

discharged the respondents-accused from the charge.

7. We have heard Sri Suhaan Mukerji, learned counsel

appearing for the State of West Bengal and Sri Pijush

Roy, learned counsel appearing for respondents.

8. In  this  appeal  mainly  it  is  contended  by  the

learned counsel for the  appellant-State that the de

facto complainant has appointed first respondent as an

English teacher to improve the English of the deceased

victim.  The victim used to visit the house of  accused

No.1 and developed intimacy and relationship.    It is

submitted that on 05.03.2004, when the victim visited

the  accused  for  finalizing  the  date  of  marriage,

respondent Nos. 2 and 3 who are parents of accused No.1

have shouted and called the victim a call-girl.  The

victim  was  disturbed  and  she  returned  home  and  her

sister tried to console her by telling her that they

will speak to the accused so that their marriage would

take place.  It is submitted that on next day i.e.

06.03.2004, she committed suicide by hanging.  It is

submitted that from  suicide notes, it is clear that


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

6  respondents  who are  the accused  are responsible  for

suicide of the victim girl.  It is submitted that by

their  conduct  and  utterances  they  have  abetted  the

crime,  as  such  they  were  rightly  charged  for  the

offence under Section 306/34 IPC.  It is submitted that

there is sufficient material to frame charge against

the  respondents.  In  spite  of  the  same,  without

considering the material on record, the High Court has

allowed the application filed by the respondents. The

learned  counsel  for  the  State  in  support  of  his

arguments placed reliance on the judgment in the cases

of  Soma Chakravarty    vs.  State1 and  Union of India

vs.  Prafulla Kumar Samal2.

9. On the other hand, in response, learned counsel

appearing  for  the  accused-respondents  submitted  that

during  the  pendency  of  this  appeal,  the  second

respondent passed away, as such appeal stands abated so

far as he is concerned.  Further, it is stated that as

there  is  no  material  to  frame  charge  against  the

respondents for offence under Section 306/34 IPC, the

High  Court by  well-reasoned order  has allowed  their

application and no grounds to interfere with the same.

1 (2007) 5 SCC 403   2 (1979) 3 SCC 4.


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

7  10. Having heard learned counsel on both the sides, we

have  perused  the  impugned  order  passed  by  the  High

Court and other material placed on record.

11. From the material placed on record, it is clear

that respondents are sought to be proceeded for charge

under  Section  306/34  mainly  relying  on  the  suicide

letters written by the deceased girl and the statements

recorded during the investigation.  Even according to

the case of de facto complainant, respondent Nos. 2 and

3 who are parents of first respondent shouted at the

deceased girl calling her a call-girl.  This happened

on 05.03.2004 and the deceased girl committed suicide

on 06.03.2004.  By considering the material placed on

record, we are also of the view that the present case

does  not  present  any  picture  of  abetment  allegedly

committed by respondents. The suicide committed by the

victim cannot be said to be the result of any action on

part of respondents nor can it be said that commission

of suicide by the victim was the only course open to

her due to action of the respondents.  There was no

goading or solicitation or insinuation by any of the

respondents to the victim to commit suicide.    In the

case of Swamy Prahaladdas   vs. State of M.P. and Anr.3

3 1995 Supp (3) SCC 438


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

8  this Court while considering utterances like “to go and

die”  during  the  quarrel  between  husband  and  wife,

uttered by husband held that utterances of such words

are not direct cause for committing suicide. In such

circumstances,  in  the  aforesaid  judgment  this  Court

held  that  Sessions  Judge  erred  in  summoning  the

appellant  to  face  the  trial  and  quashed  the


12. In the judgment in the case of Ramesh Kumar   vs.

State of Chhattisgarh4 this Court has considered the

scope  of  Section  306  and  the  ingredients  which  are

essential for abetment as set out in Section 107 IPC.

While interpreting the word “instigation”, it is held

in paragraph 20 as under:

“20. Instigation is to goad, urge forward, provoke,  incite  or  encourage  to  do  “an act”.  To  satisfy  the  requirement  of instigation though it is not necessary that actual words must be used to that effect or what  constitutes  instigation  must necessarily and specifically be suggestive of  the  consequence.   Yet  a  reasonable certainty to incite the consequence must be capable of being spelt out.  The present one is not a case where the accused had by his  acts  or  omission  or  by  a  continued course  of  conduct  created  such circumstances  that  the  deceased  was  left with  no  other  option  except  to  commit suicide in which case an instigation may have been inferred.  A word uttered in the fit of anger or emotion without intending

4 (2001) 9 SCC 618


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

9  the consequences to actually follow cannot be said to be instigation.”        

13. Similarly in the judgment in the case of  Sanju

Alias Sanjay Singh Sengar  vs.  State of M.P.5 when any

quarrel which has taken place between husband and wife

in which husband has stated to have told the deceased

”to go and die”, this Court has held that the suicide

committed two days thereafter was not proximate to the

quarrel though the deceased was named in the suicide

note and that the suicide was not the direct result of

quarrel when the appellant used abusive language and

told the deceased to go and die.  Judgments referred

above support the case of respondents, except stating

that  on  05.03.2004  when  the  deceased  went  to  the

premises  of  first  respondent,  his  parents  who  are

respondent Nos. 2 and 3 addressed her as a call-girl.

At the same time by applying the judgments referred

above we are of the view that such material is not

sufficient to proceed with the trial by framing charge

of offence under Section 306/34 IPC.  It is also clear

from  the  material  that  there  was  no  goading  or

solicitation or insinuation by any of the respondents

to the victim to commit suicide.

5 (2002) 5 SCC 371


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

10  14. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant-State

has placed reliance on the judgment in the case of Soma

Chakravarty (supra), wherein this Court has held that

when there is material to show that accused might have

committed offence it can frame charge and the probative

value of the material on record cannot be gone into at

the stage, before the Trial Court.

15. Reliance is placed on the judgment in the case of

Union of India vs Prafulla Kumar Samal (supra), where

this Court has held that the Judge while considering

the question of framing the charges has the undoubted

power to sift and weigh the evidence for the limited

purpose of finding out whether or not a  prima facie

case against the accused has been made out.

16. The judgment relied on by learned counsel for the

State in the case of Chitresh Kumar Chopra  vs.  State

(NCT) of Delhi6, this Court has held that where the

accused by his acts or by a continued course of conduct

creates such circumstances that the deceased was left

with  no  other  option  except  to  commit  suicide,  an

“instigation” may be inferred.  To draw the inference

of  instigation  it  all  depends  on  facts  and

circumstances of the case, whether the acts committed

6 (2009) 16 SCC 605


Crl.A.No.2181 of 2009

11  by the accused will constitute direct or indirect act

of incitement to the commission of suicide is a matter

which  is  required  to  be  considered  in  facts  and

circumstances of each case.  As such we are of the view

that the judgments relied on by the learned counsel for

the State would not assist in supporting his arguments.

17.   For the aforesaid reasons, we do not find any

merit in this appeal so as to interfere with the well

reasoned judgment of the High Court. Accordingly, this

appeal is dismissed.  

 ...................J.     [Indu Malhotra]

   .................J.     [R. Subhash Reddy]

New Delhi;

October 18, 2019