Wifes Suicide, Man is not guilty Always

NEW DELHI: A husband found to have tortured his wife cannot be automatically held guilty of abetment of her suicide, the Delhi high court has said. HC made the observation on an appeal filed by a man challenging the judgment of a lower court which had convicted him of torturing his wife and abetting her suicide.

“Merely because the court has held that Shailender (husband) is guilty of subjecting wife to cruelty and has convicted him under Section 498-A IPC (cruelty), by itself, would not be sufficient to convict him under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) as well,” Justice A K Pathak held. “Conviction of Shailender under Section 498-A is maintained. But his conviction under Section 304-B IPC and sentence awarded therein are set aside,” the court said.

Sonia, a student of Delhi College of Engineering, committed suicide in 2005. Cops found that she didn’t share a good relation with her husband who used to harass her. The trial court had convicted him for subjecting her to cruelty and said this forced her to commit suicide. But HC noted, “The utterances to the disliking of the deceased and the other acts of Shailender may be sufficient to attract ingredients of offence under Section498A IPC, but it would not be sufficient to presume that he had abetted her suicide.”

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