Recently, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court clarified that demanding outstanding loan from defaulting borrower cannot be said to be an offence of abetment of suicide.
The clarification described above was made when the COurt was hearing an application filed by one Rohit who sought to quash an FIR filed against him for offence u/s 306 of IPC.
In the FIR it is alleged that the petitioner harassed the deceased Pramod for loan repayment, because of which Pramod committed suicide.
In this case, the deceased had taken a loan of six lakhs twenty-one thousand rupees from Mahindra financial services Ltd. to buy a new vehicle. However the deceased was unable to repay the loan and had only paid Rs 15,800.
The FIR states that the petitioner started harassing the deceased due to which he committed suicide. In the suicide letter, the deceased indicated that the petitioner was involved in the case.
Learned APP stated that due to the demand for the outstanding loan amount, the deceased was in tremendous mental pressure, which led him to commit suicide.
Learned counsel for the petitioner argued that the petitioner only demanded repayment of the loan and had no intention to abet the suicide of Mr Pramod. The counsel further argued that abetment involves instigating a person or intentionally aiding a person no commit suicide, and in the instant case, this did not happen. The counsel relied on Amit vs the State of Maharashtra.
The reasoning of the Court
The Bench observed that the only allegation against the petitioner was that he demanded outstanding loan amount from the deceased. The Court opined that the petitioner was only doing his duty as an employee of a finance company.
Reference was made to Amit Naharkar case, where an employee of a finance company was implicated in a case of suicide for allegedly requesting repayment of a loan. In that case, the Court held that the prosecution has to prove that the petitioner tried to abet or instigate the deceased to commit suicide.
In Santosh Kumar vs the State of Maharashtra, the High Court held that if a previous loan has not been paid and the Branch Manager refuses to grant a further loan, the Managers act cannot be termed as abetment to suicide.
The Bench quashed the FIR and stated that none of the requirement u/s 306 of IPC were fulfilled by the prosecution.
Title: Rohit vs the State of Maharashtra
Coram: Hon’ble Justice VM Deshpande and Hon’ble Justice AS Kilor