CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE C.L. SONI
Date : 30/03/2017
CRIMINAL MISC.APPLICATION (FOR QUASHING & SET ASIDE FIR/ORDER) NO. 4335 of 2012
BHARATBHAI P PARIKH & 3
STATE OF GUAJRAT & 1
Appearance: HL PATEL ADVOCATES, ADVOCATE for the Applicants MR ASIM J PANDYA, ADVOCATE for the Applicants MR SP HASURKAR, ADVOCATE for the Respondent No. 2 MS MOXA THAKKAR ADDL. PUBLIC PROSECUTOR for the Respondent No. 1
 The present petition is filed seeking to quash the First Information Report (“FIR”) registered as C.R.No.I-89/2010 with Western Railway Police Station, Vadodara on 19.10.2010 for the offences punishable under
Sections 306 and 114 of the Indian Penal Code
(“the Penal Code”) and also to quash the charge-sheet as filed in connection with the FIR.
 The gist of the allegations in the FIR is that the husband of the informant committed suicide on account of mental and financial related torture meted out to him by the petitioners – accused.
 In connection with the allegations in the FIR, the police, on completion of the investigation, has filed the charge-sheet against the petitioners.
 Learned advocate Mr.Asim Pandya appearing for the petitioners submitted that the allegations in the FIR would not constitute the offence of abetment under Section 306 of the Penal Code against the petitioners. He submitted that the penal statutes are required to be strictly interpreted as the prosecution of any person cannot be left in ambiguity but the offence with which such person is charged should be within the letters of law. He submitted that the petitioners are not related to the deceased and, therefore, except where presumption under Section 113(A) of the Evidence Act applies, the abetment for the offense is required to be proved. He submitted that just because the petitioners as trustees started taking disciplinary action against the deceased husband of the informant in the interest of the trust, if the deceased took extreme step of committing suicide, the petitioners could not be said to have abetted in commission of suicide by him. Mr.Pandya submitted that until 1983, it was not possible to bring the husband or relative of the wife within definition of abetment but it could be made possible only by amendment under Section 498(A) of the Penal Code and Section 113(A) of the Evidence Act and this would suggest as argued by Mr.Pandya that unless legislature intervenes, the Court would not fill in lacuna in the penal statute. He submitted that for every penal action, the element of mens rea has to be there which is absent in the allegations against the petitioners. He submitted that the petitioners had no knowledge or intention that by their disciplinary action against the deceased for the interest of the trust, the deceased would commit suicide. He submitted that there is no proximity between the alleged acts of the petitioners and the suicide committed by the deceased and, therefore, the petitioners could not be said to have instigated the deceased to commit suicide.
While referring to paragraph nos.7 to 10 of the petition, Mr.Pandya submitted that the petitioners have good background and are reputed persons in the society and to allow the prosecution against them would be nothing but an abuse of process of Court. He, therefore, urged to quash the FIR and the charge-sheet.
 Learned APP Ms.Moxa Thakkar appearing for the respondent – State, while referring to the allegations made in the FIR and the affidavit of the Investigating Officer (I.O.), submitted that because of continuous harassment by the petitioners to the deceased, the deceased took extreme step to commit suicide and, thus, the offence of abetment is prima facie made out against the petitioners. She submitted that the police, on collecting ample material in connection with the FIR, has filed charge-sheet and, therefore, the Court may not quash the FIR at this stage.
 Learned advocate Mr.S. P. Hasurker appearing for the informant submitted that the deceased committed suicide as he suffered continuous mental torture with unethical demand of money from the petitioners which the deceased has disclosed in his suicide note. He submitted that the contents of suicide note and the allegations made in the FIR do disclose commission of offence of abetment by the petitioners. Mr.Hasurker submitted that considering the happening of the events stated in the FIR and the material collected by the police for filing the charge-sheet, the fact finding inquiry is required and, therefore, the Court may not quash the FIR and the charge-sheet in exercise of its inherent power. While taking the Court to the material collected by the police during the investigation, including the transcript of the telephonic talks by the petitioners with the deceased, Mr.Hasurker submitted that there had been continuous harassment and torture from the petitioners to the deceased and his family members, as a result of which the deceased was left with no option but to commit suicide and, therefore, it cannot be said that no offence of abetment is made out against the petitioners. He, therefore, urged to allow the prosecution against the petitioners and not to quash the FIR at this stage.
 The Court, on perusal of the FIR, finds that the informant has given out accounts for happening of the events leading to suicide of her deceased husband, who was serving as doctor with the trust stated to be managed by the petitioners as trustees. The informant herself was also serving as nurse with her deceased husband. While alleging the harassment to her deceased husband and to her by the petitioners till date her husband committed suicide, the informant has stated that the suicide of her husband was because of mental torture and money related harassment given to him which was found stated in the suicide note of the deceased. Though from the xerox copy of the suicide note, it was some what difficult to read some words with exactitude, however, what could be read is reproduced below in English translated version.
“President, Secretary, Joint Secretary (Bharatbhai Parikh – Pinakin Shah – Dilip Sheth) all three persons are after me since one year by making false demand. I am being mentally and financially harassed. In such situation, I have not got salary for last four months. Other doctors are being paid the salary of Rs.75,000/- whereas I am being paid only Rs.34,000/-. Since last 14 years, I have worked day and night in this hospital. I have not been paid the amount of my earned leave. If anything happens to me, then, the President Bharatbhai Parikh, Secretary Pinakin Shah and Joint Secretary Dilip Sheth will be responsible for the same. For granting my resignation, Shri Pinakin Shah, Shri Bharat Parikh and Shri Dilip Sheth are demanding Rs.50,00,000/- from me and they are refusing to pay me my due amount. Shri Pinakin Shah is separately demanding Rs.2,00,000/- . Three to four days before, the President and Secretary harassed me by making frequent phone calls and took away Rs.1,51,000/- in BPL.”
 As per the allegations made in the FIR, all the petitioners are alleged to be responsible for harassment to the deceased because of which the deceased took extreme step to commit suicide. The charge-sheet is filed against all the petitioners. Therefore, it cannot be said that allegation in the FIR do not disclose the offence of abetment. The allegations in the FIR with the contents of suicide note would constitute the offence of abetment against the petitioners. The papers of the charge-sheet placed on record contain statements of many witnesses. The statements of the witnesses including that of employees working with the trust would reveal that there was discord between the deceased and the petitioners. The statement of witness – Shri Mahesbhai Rana stated to be the brother-in-law of the deceased reveals that only two days before the date of the incident of suicide, when he was present in the meeting of the trustees with the deceased, the petitioners stated that there was financial irregularity of Rs.62,70,000/- in BPL scheme and asked the deceased to pay the amount. It is required to note that the informant has already alleged continuous harassment till the date the deceased committed suicide.
The father of the deceased has handed over the C.Ds. (Cassette Discs) to the police which the police have recovered under the panchnama. Such C.Ds. are stated to have contained the talks between the deceased and the petitioners. The transcripts of allegedly torturing talks by the petitioners with the deceased, which runs into many pages are placed with the papers of the charge-sheet.
The Court finds that considering the statements of the witnesses, the contents of the suicide note and the allegations made in the FIR, it is difficult to say that there were no proximity between the commission of the suicide by the deceased and the incidents of alleged harassment by the petitioners. The Court also finds that considering the contents of the suicide note, the allegations of harassment woven in various facts stated in the FIR and the material collected during the investigation, the fact finding inquiry on assessing the evidence will be required.
 The contents of the suicide note are supported by the wife of the deceased – informant. She has stated in the FIR as to how her husband had continuously suffered harassment from the petitioners.
 In the case of