SC on interplay between Ss.306,498A IPC & S.113A, Indian Evidence Act

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 26th November 2019, in the matter of Gurjit Singh v. State of Punjab pronounced that conviction u/s 498A and death within 7 years of marriage, do not automatically attract Section 306 IPC  by employing presumption u/s 113A of Evidence Act. For conviction u/s 306 IPC prosecution has to establish that some act or illegal omission by accused drove the deceased to commit suicide.

Question before the Hon’ble Court

When the prosecution establishes cruelty under Explanation (b) of Section 498­A of the IPC and also establishes that the deceased committed suicide within seven years of the marriage, could the accused be also held guilty for the offence punishable under Section 306 of the IPC with the aid of Section 113­A of the Indian Evidence Act?

Court’s observation

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. (Para 27)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_26-Nov-2019

-Adv. Tushar Kaushik

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