Off late I have got a couple of cases of IPC Section 306 in Mumbai western. Section 306 is filed when the wife commits suicide and the abetment charges are levied on the group of people whom the parents or relatives of wife presume or suspect as the abettors.
By default the ones staying under the same roof, i.e the famous Indian Joint Family becomes a part of the package aftermath massacre which is a part of legal process. The holocaust hold all of them guilty prima facie till proven innocent.
To narrate case one, I got Vineet (name changed), a sales manager from a media company who found his beloved wife hanging in the bedroom at an odd hour of the day, when she was supposed to be at work in her fortune 500 MNC where she was employed, she abruptly returned from her work place in afternoon, locked herself in the room and hung herself by the ceiling fan. The case could have been well of a work pressure as she was the modern day working women but the mindsets of the Indian law believes that a lady has to be harassed by her inlaws to take such a heinous step and on the other hand if a man is literally harassed by his wife and inlaws yet he is presumed to have committed the act because of alleged work pressure.
Though there was no suicide note, yet Vineet and his entire family had to undergo Judicial Custody as the defense was weakened since the door was broken open by them only to fine the wife hanging by the ceiling fan with a dupatta around her neck.
Another case is of Mayank a Sales Associate with a private Bank who had married an air hostess. His wife committed suicide again probably due to work pressure, also left a suicide note giving him and his family a clean chit. But yet he is behind bars since Feb 18th 2010 till date in Judicial Custody. And the police are cleverly delaying his bail even after chargesheets being filed.
In both above cases the family broke the door open without informing neighbors and police. As a result they eliminated all the witness, who could have stood by their side in telling that the door was closed from within when the suicide occurred.
Another simple tool that we fail to use in such cases is the video camera available on the phone that could be a good witness in cases where presumption of holding accused guilty till proven innocent is the trend.
Vineet and Mayank both individually as well as a family are suffering big time to the hands of courts. Vineet is lucky enough to have got bail. But Mayank’s joint family is very unfortunate as his Govt employeed parents and Aunt lost the job after detention, and his sister Divya who just got married is the sole bread earner for the family. Thanks to her inlaws who are allowing her to earn and give the money to her parents for fighting the case and getting Mayank out.
So just to summarize, the ones who are stuck in a situation where the wife has locked herself in a room and is not opening the door, then act with caution…
1. Immediately Call the neighbors and security guards etc
2. Take the video on your mobile of the entire proceedings. Capture the time and date also in the video. Make it as elaborative evidence as possible, as picture speaks thousand words.
3. Call the police, but do not open the door in absence of witness.
I repeat, NEVER NEVER NEVER break open that Door. Else you would close all the doors of your rescue and it would be presumed that the in laws are guilty of abetting the suicide.
Any more points….? then please discuss.