SC: 498A attracted if there is wilful conduct likely to drive woman to suicide

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 18thJuly 2019, in the matter of Wasim v. State NCT of Delhi, pronounced that any wilful conduct which is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide is sufficient for conviction under Section 498A IPC.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Conviction under Section 498A IPC is for subjecting a woman to cruelty. Cruelty is explained as any wilful conduct which is likely to drive a woman to commit suicide or to cause grave injury or danger to life, limb or health. Harassment of a woman by unlawful demand of dowry also partakes the character of ‘Cruelty’. (Para 12)

Conviction for an offence under Section 498A IPC can be for wilful conduct which is likely to drive a woman to commit suicide OR for dowry demand. (Para 12)

[M. Mohan vs. State, (2011) 3 SCC 626] There should be clear mens rea to commit the offence for conviction under Section 306 IPC. It also requires an active act or direct act which led the deceased to commit suicide seeing no option and this act must have been intended to push the deceased into such a position that he/she committed suicide (Para 13)

[(1997) 1 Crimes 499 (AP)] To attract the ingredients of abetment, the intention of the accused to aid or instigate or abet the deceased to commit suicide is necessary (Para 13)

Any wilful conduct which is likely to drive the woman to commit suicide is sufficient for conviction under Section 498A IPC. (Para 13)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_18th-Jul-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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