Sec.306 of I.P.C. - Mere scolding - Teacher scolded the student that " Not to commit theft - go and die " - never amounts to abatement which comes under sec. 306 of IPC if the student died due to that as there is no mensrea as by mistake he thought that the student committed theft = Vijayalakshmi .. Petitioner Vs 1.The State rep. by the Inspector of Police, Swamimalai Police Station, Swamimalai, Thanjavur District. 2.K.Anandavalli .. Respondent= Reported in http://judis.nic.in/judis_chennai/filename=62191

Sec.306 of I.P.C. - Mere scolding - Teacher scolded the student that " Not to commit theft - go and die " - never amounts to abatement which comes under sec. 306 of IPC  if the student died due to that as there is no mensrea as by mistake he thought that the student committed theft = 

Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, praying to call for the records relating to the charge sheet
in P.R.C.No.13 of 2012 in Crime No.44 of 2011 on the file of the Judicial
Magistrate, Kumbakonam and quash the same.=

 when the petitioner  as a teacher asked her student Suriya
to keep her handbag at a place, a five hundred rupees note fell out from the bag
and when she was keeping it inside the bag, the petitioner having seen that
mistook it that the deceased was committing theft and the petitioner reprimanded
the deceased and stated that 'instead of committing theft, she should go and
die'.  As the deceased was scolded in the presence of the students and other
teachers by the petitioner, she felt ashamed and she went to her house, poured
kerosene on her body and set fire.  She was admitted in the hospital on
12.02.2011 and died on the next day.  The deceased was aged only 14 years at
that time.


N.Anjali Devi and another Vs. State by the Superintendent of Police, Villupuram
and another) in paragraph No.15, it is observed as follows;
"One important thing to be noted in this case is that the petitioners
being the Teachers of the Government School in the interest of the Institution
correct any mistake done by the student in order to cultivate good habits and
get rid of bad habits, such as stealing money. In fact, the father of the
deceased girl had been summoned and it is stated that he gave a letter of
apology for the conduct of his daughter and also undertook that the same would
not recur again.  In such view of the matter, the act of the petitioners cannot
be said that it would amount to abetment of suicide."

15. By applying the well settled principles pronounced by the Hon'ble
Supreme Court and by our High Court, and taking into consideration of the
materials on record, this Court is of the view that the petitioner cannot be
held directly liable for the suicide committed by the deceased, as there was no
mens rea on the part of the petitioner. Hence, the proceedings in P.R.C.No.13 of
2012 against the petitioner is quashed.   Consequently, connected miscellaneous
petitions are closed.

.In the result, this appeal succeeds.  The charge-sheet dated 2.7.2001
framed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Sihora, in Sessions Trial No.469 of
1998 for an offence under section 306 IPC and the order of the High Court under
challenge are hereby quashed."

BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT

DATED: 03/01/2013

CORAM
THE HON'BLE MR.JUSTICE T.SUDANTHIRAM

CRL.O.P.(MD)No.3775 of 2012
and
M.P.(MD).Nos.1 & 2 of 2012


.Vijayalakshmi .. Petitioner

Vs

1.The State rep. by the
  Inspector of Police,
  Swamimalai Police Station,
  Swamimalai, Thanjavur District.

2.K.Anandavalli .. Respondent



Criminal Original Petition filed under Section 482 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, praying to call for the records relating to the charge sheet
in P.R.C.No.13 of 2012 in Crime No.44 of 2011 on the file of the Judicial
Magistrate, Kumbakonam and quash the same.

!For Petitioner  ... Mr.C.Selvaraj,
    Senior counsel for
    M/s.C.S. Associates

^For 1st respondent...Mrs.S.Prabha,
    Government Advocate

For 2nd respondent...Mr.G.Thalaimutharasu
- - - - -


:ORDER

The petitioner herein is an accused in P.R.C.No.13 of 2012 on the file of
the learned Judicial Magistrate,  Kumbakonam.  The first respondent Police filed
a final report against the petitioner for the alleged offences under Section 305
IPC.  The petitioner filed this petition seeking to quash the proceedings
against her.

2. The case of the prosecution is that the petitioner was working as a
Headmistress in Panchayat Union Middle School, Neerathanallur, Kumbakonam
Panchayat Union, Thanjavur District.  The daughter of the defacto complainant in
this case by name Suriya (deceased) was studying in the said school.  According
to the prosecution, when the petitioner  as a teacher asked her student Suriya
to keep her handbag at a place, a five hundred rupees note fell out from the bag
and when she was keeping it inside the bag, the petitioner having seen that
mistook it that the deceased was committing theft and the petitioner reprimanded
the deceased and stated that 'instead of committing theft, she should go and
die'.  As the deceased was scolded in the presence of the students and other
teachers by the petitioner, she felt ashamed and she went to her house, poured
kerosene on her body and set fire.  She was admitted in the hospital on
12.02.2011 and died on the next day.  The deceased was aged only 14 years at
that time.

3. Learned senior counsel appearing for the petitioner submitted that the
petitioner had only advised the deceased for stealthily removing the amount from
the petitioner's  handbag and she had no bad intention and as a teacher, with
the bona fide expectation, she had only advised the student.  Learned senior
counsel further submitted that even as per the allegation made by the
prosecution, the ingredients of the offence under Section 305 IPC are not made
out and the petitioner is not responsible for the act of suicide committed by
the student. Learned senior counsel further submitted that as a gesture, the
petitioner had already paid a sum of Rs.2,10,000/- to the mother of the deceased
and now a further sum of Rs.1,10,000/- is also paid to the mother of the
deceased, who is present before this Court today.

4. Learned counsel appearing for the defacto complainant, who is mother of
the deceased, has admitted the fact of receiving a total sum of Rs.3,20,000/-
from the petitioner.

5. Learned Government Advocate submitted that the case has not been
committed in the Sessions so far and also submitted that the petitioner had
called the deceased as a thief, and she was put to shame and disgrace in the
presence of other students and teachers.  Being ashamed, she had committed
suicide and as such the petitioner is responsible for the death of the deceased.

6. This Court considered the submissions and perused the records.

7. It appears from the statements of some of the students and teachers
that the petitioner was scolding the deceased Suriya for having committed theft
of cash and the deceased had denied about committing theft and she was crying.
After this incident, the deceased went to her home and she poured kerosene on
her body and set fire.  The mother of the deceased also gave a statement to the
effect that the deceased had informed her that she was put to shame, since her
teacher (the petitioner herein) had focused her as a thief.

8. It is a very unfortunate incident. It is not possible to decide now
whether the deceased committed theft of amount from the handbag of the
petitioner or the petitioner mistook that the deceased committed theft.  The
fact remains that the petitioner has suspected that the deceased attempted to
commit theft of cash from her handbag and consequently, the petitioner had
scolded the deceased in the presence of other students and teachers. The
question now to be decided is whether the act of the petitioner herein would
attract the ingredients of the offence under Section 305 IPC, which is as
follows;
305.Abetment of suicide of child or insane person.- If any person under
eighteen years of age, any insane person, any delirious person, any idiot, or
any person in a state of intoxication, commits suicide, whoever abets the
commission of such suicide, shall be punishment with death or imprisonment for
life, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, and shall also be
liable to fine."

9. Section 107 IPC defines 'Abetment' which reads as follows;
"107.ABETMENT OF A THING:- a person abets the doing of a thing, who-
First-Instigates any person to do that thing; or,
Secondly-Engages with one or more other person or persons in any capacity
for the doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in
pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to the doing of that thing; or
Thirdly-Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of
that thing."

10. For the first category, there should be direct act of instigation by
the accused.  The second category need not be discussed for the purpose of this
case. For the third category, the accused should have intentionally aided the
deceased.  In this case, as per the available facts, there is nothing to show
that there was any intentional act by the petitioner for the deceased to commit
suicide or intentionally aided or there was any illegal omission on the part of
the petitioner for the deceased to commit suicide.

11.The words attributed by the petitioner are only to the extent that
'instead of committing theft, the deceased should go and die'.  By attributing
those words, it cannot be said that the petitioner being a teacher intentionally
wanted her student to commit suicide.  Of-course, she should have been more
careful in using words.
12. In the decision of the Hon'ble Supreme Court reported in 2002 SCC
(Crl.) 1141 (Sanju @ Sanjay Singh Sengar Vs. State of M.P.) in paragraph Nos.12
to 15, it is observed as follows;
"12.Reverting to the facts of the case, both the courts below have
erroneously accepted the prosecution story that the suicide by the deceased is
the direct result of the quarrel that had taken place on 25.7.1998 wherein it is
alleged that the appellant had used abusive language and had reportedly told the
deceased, "to go and die".  For this, courts relied on a statement of Shashi
Bhushan, brother of the deceased, made under section 161 Cr.P.C., when
reportedly, the deceased after coming back from the house of the appellant, told
him that the appellant had humiliated him and abused him with filthy words.  The
statement of Shashi Bhushan, recorded under section 161 Cr.P.C., is annexed  as
Annexure P-3 to this appeal and going through the statement, we find that he has
not stated that the deceased had told that the appellant had asked him "to go
and die".  Even if we accept the prosecution story that the appellant did tell
the deceased "to go and die", that itself does not constitute the ingredient of
"instigation". The word "instigate" denotes incitement or urging to do some
drastic or inadvisable action or to stimulate or incite.  Presence of mens rea
therefore, is the necessary concomitant of instigation. It is common knowledge
that the words uttered in a quarrel or on the spur of the moment cannot be taken
to be uttered with mens rea.  It is in a fit of anger and emotion. Secondly, the
alleged abusive words, said to have been told to the deceased were on 25.7.1998
ensued by a quarrel.  The deceased was found hanging on 27.7.1998.  Assuming
that the deceased had taken the abusive language seriously, he had enough time
in between to think over and reflect and, therefore, it cannot be said that the
abusive language, which had been used by the appellant on 25.7.1998 drove the
deceased to commit suicide.  Suicide by the deceased on 27.7.1998 is not
proximate to the abusive language uttered by the appellant on 25.7.1998. The
fact that the deceased committed suicide on 27.7.1998 would itself clearly point
out that it is not the direct result of the quarrel taken place on 25.7.1998
when it is alleged that the appellant had used the abusive language and also
told the deceased to go and die.  This fact had escaped notice of the courts
below.
13.The next most important material is the suicide note left by the
deceased.  The translated copy is annexed to this appeal as Annexure P-1.  It is
extracted:
SUICIDE NOTE
Dainik Bhaskar
581, South civil Lines,
Jabalpur.
Agent's name-Sengar News Agency
Place-Goshalpur
Number of copies-409
Date
Name of the person who prepared lable
    Goshalpur Sengar has threatened to report under dowry demand and threatened
to involve family members due to this I am writing in my full senses that Sanjay
Sengar is responsible for my death. Sanjay Sengar also Mukraj commandaer loota
tha Sanjay ki.
Sengar News Agency
Goshalpur
I was threatened therefore I am Dying
Sengar, Goshalpur
My name Chander Bhushan Singh GoutamChander Bhushan Singh Goutam Babloo Goutam
In my senses,
Sengar responsible for my death.
My Moti,
Darling my Moti.  You look after my Chukho.  My darling Moti Neelam Sengar @
Chander Bhushan Singh Goutam, Gandigram Budhagar.
Sengar is responsible for my death
Sanjay Sengar is responsible for my death
Sanjay Sengar is responsible for my death
Chander Bhushan Singh Goutam, Gandhigram Budhagar."
14.A plain reading of the suicide note would clearly show that the
deceased was in great stress and depressed.  One plausible reason could be that
the deceased was without any work or avocation and at the same time indulged in
drinking as revealed from the statement of the wife Smt.Neelam Sengar. He was a
frustrated man.  Reading of the suicide note will clearly suggest that such a
note is not the handiwork of a man with a sound mind and sense.  Smt.Neelam
Sengar, wife of the deceased, made a statement under section 161 CrPC before the
Investigating Officer.  She stated that the deceased always indulged in drinking
wine and was not doing any work.  She also stated that on 26.7.1998 her husband
came to them in an inebriated condition and was abusing her and other members of
the family.  The prosecution story, if believed, shows that the quarrel between
the deceased and the appellant had taken place on 25.7.1998 and if the deceased
came back to the house again on 26.7.1998, it cannot be said that the suicide by
the deceased was the direct result of the quarrel that had taken place on
25.7.1998. Viewed from the aforesaid circumstances independently, we are clearly
of the view that the ingredients of "abetment" are totally absent in the instant
case for an offence under section 306 IPC.  It is in the statement of the wife
that the deceased always remained in a drunken condition.  It is common
knowledge that excessive drinking leads one to debauchery.  It clearly appeared,
therefore, that the deceased was a victim of his own conduct unconnected with
the quarrel that had ensued on 25.7.1998 where the appellant is stated to have
used abusive language. Taking the totality  of materials on record and facts and
circumstances of the case into consideration, it will lead to the irresistible
conclusion that it is the deceased and he alone, and none else, is responsible
for his death.
15.In the result, this appeal succeeds.  The charge-sheet dated 2.7.2001
framed by the Additional Sessions Judge, Sihora, in Sessions Trial No.469 of
1998 for an offence under section 306 IPC and the order of the High Court under
challenge are hereby quashed."

   13.In the decision of this Court reported in 2007-1-L.W.(Crl.) 163  [Ananda
Sekaran Vs. State by the Inspector of Police, K1 Sembiam Police Station,
Chennai), it is observed in paragraphs 19 and 21 as follows:
"19.In the second case, referring the above decision, when the case was
dealt with under section 306 read with 107 IPC, the Apex Court held that the
words uttered in a quarrel or on the spur of the moment such as 'to go and die'
cannot be taken to be uttered with mens rea and therefore, the person so said
cannot be convicted under section 306 IPC.  If the accused had the motive or
intention that his wife should die committing suicide on her own, then there
must be some instance bringing to surface the mens rea, which is essential as
held by the Apex Court.  No instance brought to the notice of the Court how the
accused entertained mens rea or how and why he should think that his wife should
commit suicide for which he should have abetted ........
21.In State of Gujarat Vs. Sunilkumar Kanaiyalal Jain (1997 Crl.L.J.2014)
a Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court considering the scope of Section 306
IPC elaborately dealt with abetment, realising the responsibility of the Court
also has observed, "better die today than tomorrow", if had been uttered cannot
be said to be the abetment in the eye of law since the words might have been
uttered due to outburst of one's own fatuity or anger or consternation without
any intention or knowledge or might be the rude or insulting, not with desire to
instigate the person to commit suicide, which principle also could be extended
to the above case on hand....."

14. In another decision of this Court reported in (2010) 1 MLJ (Crl.) 34,
(N.Anjali Devi and another Vs. State by the Superintendent of Police, Villupuram
and another) in paragraph No.15, it is observed as follows;
"One important thing to be noted in this case is that the petitioners
being the Teachers of the Government School in the interest of the Institution
correct any mistake done by the student in order to cultivate good habits and
get rid of bad habits, such as stealing money. In fact, the father of the
deceased girl had been summoned and it is stated that he gave a letter of
apology for the conduct of his daughter and also undertook that the same would
not recur again.  In such view of the matter, the act of the petitioners cannot
be said that it would amount to abetment of suicide."

15. By applying the well settled principles pronounced by the Hon'ble
Supreme Court and by our High Court, and taking into consideration of the
materials on record, this Court is of the view that the petitioner cannot be
held directly liable for the suicide committed by the deceased, as there was no
mens rea on the part of the petitioner. Hence, the proceedings in P.R.C.No.13 of
2012 against the petitioner is quashed.   Consequently, connected miscellaneous
petitions are closed.

gcg

To

1.The Judicial Magistrate,
  Kumbakonam.

2.The Inspector of Police,
  Swamimalai Police Station,
  Swamimalai, Thanjavur District.

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