The Supreme Court found itself of the view that an accused convicted under 498A of IPC would not be automatically convicted under charges of Section 306 of IPC. In the present case, the accused was found guilty of the charges of Section 498A. The wife herein passed away within 7 years of marriage. The Supreme Court in this regard opined that there cannot be an automatic conviction and held guilty for the offence of abetment punishable under Section 306 IPC by employing presumption under Section 113-A of the Indian Evidence Act.
The Division Bench comprising of Justices Navin Sinha and BR Gaval stated that; to sustain a conviction of abetment under Sectio 306 IPC, the prosecutrix necessarily needs to establish that certain act or illegal omission of the same by the accused led to the victim committing suicide.
The bench referred to Ramesh Kumar v. State of Chhattisgarh, wherein it was laid down as to when Section 113-A of the Indian Evidence Act would be applicable. The criterion to be met were:
The bench referring to the said judgment and other precedents said,
“It could thus be seen, that the view taken by the three Judge Bench of this Court in the case of Ramesh Kumar (supra) that when a case does not fall under clause secondly or thirdly, it has to be decided with reference to the first clause, i.e., whether the accused has abetted the commission of suicide by intentionally instigating her to do so; has been consistently followed. As such, 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 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.”