HC quashes FIR against bank manager for abetment to suicide

The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court has quashed an FIR that charged a bank manager with abetment to suicide over the death of a man who was “refused further loan as the previous loan amount was outstanding”.

A Division Bench of Justices V.M. Deshpande and Anil Kilor said “if he [branch manager] is not granting any further loan, it cannot be termed that by such act he instigated and/or abetted the person to commit suicide”.

On June 12, 2015, Sudhir Gawande, whose father and brother, Prashant, held a loan account at Morshi branch of the Bank of Maharashtra in Amravati district, killed himself. An FIR was then filed against the branch manager, Santosh Kumar Singh, under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the Indian Penal Code.

After he was granted pre-arrest bail on June 26, 2015, Mr. Singh moved the court to quash the FIR. Mr. Singh’s advocate told the court that the “FIR cannot stand scrutiny of law as there is nothing to show that his client had an intention to aid, instigate, abet Sudhir to commit suicide”.

The advocate said there was an outstanding amount in the name of Mr. Prashant Gawande to the tune of ₹2,32,689, as per the loan account on March 31, 2015. According to the FIR, the day he died, “Sudhir approached the bank for a fresh loan by restructuring the loan account”. The advocate said if that request was refused, “it cannot be held as abetment to Sudhir to commit suicide”.

The Bench said, “Admittedly, in this case, the loan account of Mr. Gawande was showing an outstanding amount of ₹2,32,689. This aspect is not denied by the prosecution. The deceased was not having any loan outstanding in his name. According to the prosecution, Sudhir went to the Bank of Maharashtra, Morshi branch, Amravati district, for a loan.”

The court said if the previous loan amount is outstanding and if the branch manager refuses to grant any further loan, “it can be said as an act of a vigilant and prudent banker”.

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Printable version | Oct 22, 2020 2:21:00 AM |

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