New Delhi: “The criminal justice system of ours can itself be a punishment”, the Supreme Court has observed while discharging three accused in an alleged abetment of suicide case which was registered way back in 2008 in Punjab.
The apex court observed that the appeals, arising out of the April 2009 verdict of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which had dismissed the pleas filed by the three accused assailing the trial court’s order framing charges against them in the case, remained pending for 13 years.
“The criminal justice system of ours can itself be a punishment! It is exactly what has happened in this case,” a bench of Justices S K Kaul and A S Oka said in its order passed on November 24.
“Fourteen years on an issue of abetment of suicide in an episode where a student was reprimanded for misconduct in college and an endeavour to take disciplinary action and call the father, though the parent did not turn up, and subsequently the child committed suicide. An unfortunate situation!,” it said.
Noting the facts of the case, the bench said on April 16, 2008, the student, who later committed suicide, was attending a lecture under one of the accused and was alleged to have misbehaved with him in the class under the influence of alcohol.
Later, an order was passed suspending the student from the class and calling upon him to call his parents as an exercise of legitimate disciplinary action.
The bench noted that the student, instead of complying with the disciplinary action, chose to take his own life by jumping in the canal and before doing so, he had sent an SMS to his brother.
On the complaint of his father, an FIR was lodged in April 2008 for the alleged offence under section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) claiming that the suicide was instigated by the three accused — the teacher, the head of the department and the principal. A charge sheet was filed in September 2008 and charges were framed against the accused in April 2009.
They moved the high court against the order framing charges against them, but the petition was dismissed.