By Atul Krishan
New Delhi, Jan 10 (SocialNews.XYZ) A Delhi court discharged two persons -- a father and his son -- of charges of abetment to suicide, noting that mere demand for return of money can't be said to be an act of instigating or abetting or aiding in the commission of suicide by the deceased.
The accused would, however, face the prosecution for the offence punishable under Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The court was at the stage of framing charges in connection with the suicide of Vijender Singh, who took a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh and helped his friend in getting a loan of Rs 15 lakh from the accused, Dal Chand. It was alleged that Chand and his son Dinesh alias Titto Yadav had tortured Vijender, which led to him committing suicide.
The Additional Sessions Judge at the Tis Hazari Courts, Devender Kumar Sharma, said that the suicide note itself made it clear that there were no allegations of abetment to suicide.
"In the present case, there was demand for returning the loan amount and that has been attributed to be the sole reason for committing suicide by the deceased in his suicide note. However, in no manner, the mere demand for return of the amount can be said to be an act of instigating or abetting or aiding in the commission of suicide by the deceased. Even if it was coupled with the allegation that in case of non-payment of the loan amount, the accused would get the deceased sent to prison, it can not be said to be a direct or indirect act compelling the deceased to commit suicide," the court noted.
Advocate Ravi Bassi, who was appearing for Chand and Dinesh, argued that the deceased person's wife had levelled the allegation of abetment to suicide against his client six days after Vijender died.
"The mere demand for returning the loan amount cannot be treated as harassment. So by no stretch of imagination it can be presumed that Dal Chand abetted the deceased to commit suicide," Bassi said.
"The suicide note can only be treated to be anguish shown by the deceased against the accused and any demand for return of loan amount with interest can not be construed to be intentional on the part of accused to instigate the deceased to commit suicide," Bassi argued.
The court has now discharged the accused duo of abetment to suicide charges, but they will face prosecution under Section 506 of the IPC.
According to sources, on July 4, 2018, a PCR call regarding a hanging incident was received at the Punjabi Bagh police station. A police team was sent to the spot, where Vijender was found hanging from the ceiling. The police also recovered a suicide note from the spot.
Later, Sunil, the wife of the deceased, recorded her statement before the police.
She had told the police that at the instance of the deceased, Dal Chand had given a loan of Rs 15 lakh to Sharif Khan, who repaid only Rs 4 lakh.
Sunil had also told the police that the accused gave a loan of Rs 1.5 lakh to her husband. She had alleged that Dal Chand and his son Dinesh used to demand Rs 25 lakh from her husband and had also threatened him of dire consequences if he failed to repay the loan amount.
She had alleged in her statement that Dal Chand called her husband and told him to either return the money, or commit suicide, which led her husband to take the extreme step.
In the suicide note, the deceased had written that Dal Chand was charging 10 per cent interest on the given loan.
The police had then lodged a case under Sections 306/506 of the IPC against Dal Chand and Dinesh.
On July 27, 2018, the police had arrested Dal Chand who was sent to judicial custody. The police analysed the call details record (CDR) of Dal Chand and the deceased and it was learnt that they were in regular touch with each other, while Dinesh didn't call the deceased.
The police had filed the chargesheet and supplementary chargesheet in the matter in October 2018.
(Atul Krishan can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)