The Bombay High Court granted anticipatory bail to the Director of Company accused of abetting the suicide of his employee.
The First Information Report is lodged by one Minal Joshi who was the wife of the deceased Nikhil Joshi, whose suicide is the subject matter of this investigation. The informant has stated that the deceased was working with Sunanda Specialty Coatings Pvt. Ltd. The applicant was a Director of that company. The deceased was working with the company since 2001 and on the date of incident the deceased was earning a salary of Rs.1,35,000/- p.m. The F.I.R. mentions that, when the deceased had joined the company in the year 2001 the applicant was happy with his performance and the company was benefited greatly by the deceased’s hard work. In the year 2011, the applicant’s son and daughter joined the company as Directors. They were not happy with the prominence which the deceased was getting and they were humiliating the deceased.
The applicant contended that, taking the allegations as they are, they would not fall within the ambit of section 107 r/w. Section 306 of IPC. None of the acts attributed to the applicant would amount to abetment to commit suicide.
APP argued that there is a reference in the entry in the order granting anticipatory bail to the co-accused. She submitted that, thus, according to the deceased himself the applicant was main cause because of whom the deceased has committed suicide.
The intervenor submitted that the F.I.R. mentions that the applicant had threatened the deceased that he would see to it that the deceased would not get any job if he left the company.
The single judge bench of Justice Sarang V. Kotwal noted that there are allegations that he was disturbed because of stress in the company, the company was entitled to carry its business in the manner that was in the best interest of the company.
The court said that the applicant is 71 years of age. It is doubtful whether the offense U/s.306 r/w. S.107 of IPC is made out. The main allegations are about the company setting big targets, not granting leave and not accepting the resignation. These acts would be in the normal course of business.
The court held that the applicant has made out a case for grant of anticipatory bail order in his favour. The court made it clear that these observations are restricted to passing of the order and the trial court shall decide the trial on its own merits on the basis of the evidence led before it.
Case title: Dr. Surendra Manjrekar v/s The State of Maharashtra
Citation: ANTICIPATORY BAIL APPLICATION NO. 222 OF 2022