Calling woman ‘call girl’ not abetment to suicide, rules SC

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Rajan was found hanging from the ceiling fan, following which the university authorities informed his parents, added the SHO.

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a Calcutta High Court order discharging a man and his parents accused of abetting the suicide of a woman he was planning to marry after the parents called her a “call girl”.

A bench of Justices Indu Malhotra and R Subhash Reddy refused to interfere with the HC order, which said that “terming the deceased as a call-girl, there was no utterance which can be interpreted to be an act of instigating, goading or solicitation or insinuation, the deceased to commit suicide”.

The HC relied on an apex court ruling, in which it had said that similar utterances like asking another “to go and die” does not constitute an offense for abetment. It said that “the act or conduct of the accused, however insulting and abusive, will not by themselves suffice to constitute abetment of the commission of suicide unless those are reasonably capable of suggesting that the accused intended by such acts, the consequence of suicide”.

Agreeing, the SC said “by considering the material placed on record, we are also of the view that the present case does not present any picture of abetment allegedly committed by respondents. The suicide committed by the victim cannot be said to be the result of any action on part of respondents nor can it be said that the commission of suicide by the victim was the only course open to her due to action of the respondents. There was no goading or solicitation or insinuation by any of the respondents to the victim to commit suicide”.
The incident dates back to March 2004. The woman was a painter and artist, and to improve her English proficiency, her family engaged a man as her teacher.

According to the complaint filed by her father, the two became intimate and decided to marry. She went to his house on March 5 to finalise the proposal of marriage, but his parents shouted at her and said: “you are a call girl, why my son would marry you, we would give our son in marriage elsewhere”.

She returned home and committed suicide the following day, leaving two suicide notes. In one, she recalled that his parents had termed her a call girl, and in the other, she called him a coward for not reacting when his parents were abusing her.

The trial court summoned them, but the HC discharged them.

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