The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, in a criminal application between Santoshkumar versus Prashant Gawande and The State of Maharashtra, held that,
“If previous loan amount is outstanding and if the applicant, who is Branch Manager of the said Bank, is refusing to grant any further loan, can be said as act of a vigilant and prudent banker and if he is not granting any further loan, it cannot be termed that by such act he instigated and/or abetted the person to commit suicide.”
The facts leading to the case are that the complainant- Prashant Wamanrao Gawande, and his father were having a Loan Account with the Bank of Maharashtra at Morshi Branch, Amravati, where the applicant-Santoshkumar worked as a branch manager.
In this case, the deceased is Sudhir Gawande, the real brother of the complainant committed suicide by hanging himself in a bedroom of his house. The complainant approached Morshi Police Station, District Amravati, and lodged his report against the present applicant under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.
The applicant was apprehending his arrest and hence was granted pre-arrest bail by the learned Sessions Judge at Amravati. The present petition is for the quashing of the FIR filed by the complainant.
The learned counsel for the applicant submitted that FIR cannot stand to scrutiny of law since there is nothing to show that the applicant had an intention to aid or instigate or abet Sudhir to commit suicide. Sudhir approached for a fresh loan by restructuring Loan Account and if that request was refused, it cannot be held as abetment to Sudhir to commit suicide.
The respondent submitted that since the Branch Manager (applicant) refused to grant the loan, Sudhir was not taking food and ultimately he committed suicide and, therefore, the said act on the part of the applicant not to grant the loan resulted in the suicide by hanging by Sudhir.
The court relying on Sanju alias Sanjay Singh Sengar vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, Madan Mohan Singh vs. State of Gujarat and anr, Dilip s/o Ramrao Shirasao and ors vs. State of Maharashtra and anr, said that,
"it is incumbent upon prosecution to at least show prima facie case that accused had an intention to aid or instigate or abet deceased to commit suicide. In the absence of availability of such material, the accused cannot be compelled to face trial for the offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code."
The court while allowing the petition, ordered the quashing of the FIR and also consequent proceeding registered on such FIR.