Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court has held that no two individuals will swallow and digest an adverse situation in identical fashion or manner and the court has, therefore, to take into consideration the background of the individual and circumstances of the case concerned in order to ascertain the facts involved in it.
Justice T Sunil Chowdary made these observations while dealing with a petition filed by E Sambasiva Prasad and four others of Guntur district seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings pending against them before the additional assistant sessions judge at Mangalagiri.
The petitioner’s counsel said the allegations made in the charge sheet did not satisfy the basic ingredients of Sections 107 and 306 of IPC, the petitioners were falsely implicated by the de-facto complainant with a mala fide intention and there was no nexus between the alleged incident of uttering the words by the petitioners and the suicide committed by the deceased.
As for the case details, the respondent (husband of the deceased) has one daughter and one son. He performed his daughter’s marriage to the first petitioner on August 24, 2008 as per Hindu rites at Pedda Vadlapudi. Immediately after the marriage, she joined her husband to lead marital life. Soon, the newly-married man went to Sharjah on securing a job. On October 23 that year, she went to Sharjah and conceived there. She came back to India in March 2009 and gave birth to a male child in July 2009. On August 30 that year her husband came to India and visited his father-in-law’s house to see his newborn son. Again, he went to Abu Dhabi on getting a new job.
As per the allegations made in the complaint, the respondent gave Rs 20 lakh in cash and gold ornaments as dowry to the first petitioner at the time of marriage of his daughter. It is alleged that the petitioners herein started demanding an amount of Rs 8 lakh as additional dowry, for which the respondent expressed his inability. It is alleged in the charge sheet that the petitioners refused to take back his daughter and her son to Tenali unless he paid Rs 8 lakh as additional dowry. When his daughter informed her husband (first petitioner) about the demand of dowry by his parents, he told her to follow the instructions of his family members. Again on March 1, 2010, the petitioners visited the house of the respondent and pressed the demand for additional dowry of Rs 8 lakh. The first petitioner’s family members openly said that they would perform a second marriage for him if the respondent failed to pay Rs 8 lakh as additional dowry and incidentally expressed their inner feeling that they won’t get the additional dowry as long as the mother-in-law was alive.
Unable to bear the agony, Kanyakumari, the wife of the respondent, attempted suicide on March 4, 2010 by hanging herself from the ceiling fan in her house. She was rushed to a private hospital at Mangalagiri where she died two days later.
The accusation made against the petitioners revolves around three important aspects _ instigation, proximity of time and nexus between the alleged act of the petitioners and the death of the deceased.
After perusing the material on record, the judge noticed that the seed of ill feelings sowed in the minds of both the parties in October 2009 culminated in the death of Kanyakumari in March 2010.
“No two individuals may have the same intellectual faculty. No two individuals will swallow and digest the adverse situation in identical fashion or manner. The overall personality of an individual depends upon numerous factors like experience of the childhood, socio-economic conditions of the family and other attending circumstances. An easy-going person may not take every minute issue to the heart or mind. A person with some sort of sensitiveness may react in a different manner from that of an easy- going person even for a small thing. A person with hypertension, depression or such other psychological problem may react quickly even on trivial issues.
“The various decisions cited by the learned counsel clearly reveal that the court has to take into consideration the background of the individual in order to ascertain whether a set of words uttered by the opposite party will instigate such individual to resort to the extreme step of committing suicide.
“The case has to be considered from different perspectives in order to prevent miscarriage of justice. Disturbance in the family life of daughter may certainly influence the mind of a mother, more particularly in case of only daughter. Inability on the part of the parents of a bride to satisfy the financial requirements of the family members of the bridegroom is not a one-time problem so as to control the mind. As per the allegations made in the complaint, immediately before the incident, the deceased shared her feelings with her own brother and thereafter committed suicide. Deciding the root-cause of the death of the deceased, while exercising inherent power under Section 482 of CrPC is nothing but conducting a pre-trial before regular trial. If the stand of the accused runs counter to that of the prosecution, in all probability, then there may be some justification.
“The material on which the petitioners are placing reliance to quash the proceedings is not of a sterling and impeachable quality. Whether the deceased committed suicide due to the instigation or abetment committed by the petitioners is purely a question of fact. Likewise, the proximity of time will play a vital role in cases of this nature.