If an employee commits suicide and even if it is assumed that he was wronged by the superior officer, the latter cannot be tried for abetting the suicide, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The apex court said there has to be clear evidence to say that the accused had instigated or conspired with someone to abet the suicide.
"We may say that merely because a person had a grudge against his superior officer and committed suicide on account of that grudge, even honestly feeling that he was wronged, it would still not be a proper allegation for basing the charge under Section 306 IPC," a Bench of Justices V S Sirpurkar and Cyriac Joseph said in a judgement.
Section 306 refers to abetment of suicide which carries a punishment of imprisonment upto 10 years.
The apex court passed the judgement while quashing a cases registered under Section 306 IPC and 294 IPC (causing annoyance in public case) against Madan Mohan Singh who was working in a BSNL project in Ahmedabad.
The case was registered against Singh on the basis of a suicide note left behind by Deepakbhai Kishanla Joshi who was a driver under the accused officer.
The deceased's family had claimed that Singh had harassed Joshi as he stopped doing his personal errands.
The FIR was lodged against the officer on March 17, 2008, on the basis of the suicide note which stated "I am going to commit suicide due to his functioning style. Alone MM Singh, D.E.T Microwave project is responsible for my death.