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No automatic conviction for abetment of suicide, says SC

A view of the Supreme Court. File

A view of the Supreme Court. File  

Supreme Court annuls conviction of dowry accused

A person accused of dowry harassment cannot be automatically convicted for abetment of suicide, the Supreme Court has held in a judgment.

A Bench of Justices Navin Sinha and B.R. Gavai held that “even if it is established that the woman concerned had committed suicide within a period of seven years from the date of marriage and that her husband has subjected her to cruelty, the court is not bound to presume that suicide has been abetted by her husband.”

The court is required to take into consideration all other circumstances of the case.

“We are of the view that merely because an accused is found guilty of an offence punishable under Section 498A of the IPC and the death has occurred within a period of seven years of the marriage, the accused cannot be automatically held guilty for the offence punishable under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC by employing the presumption under Section 113A of the Evidence Act. Unless the prosecution establishes that some act or illegal omission by the accused has driven the deceased to commit the suicide, the conviction under Section 306 would not be tenable,” Justice Gavai said in the recent judgment.

In the present case, the apex court set aside the conviction of the husband for abetment of suicide of his wife but upheld the case of dowry harassment against him.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 6:10:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/no-automatic-conviction-for-abetment-of-suicide-says-sc/article30453405.ece

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