Bombay High Court – The New Indian Express
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court quashed an FIR against an employee of a finance company, accused of aiding and abetting suicide for demanding repayment of a loan from a borrower, saying it was part of the duty of the employee and can not be taken as the instigator of the borrower to end his life.
A bench of Judges Vinay Deshpande and Anil Kilor ruled that the petitioner, Rohit Nalawade, who had been convicted under section 306 of the IPC (incitement to suicide), had simply fulfilled his official duty by trying to collect dues of the borrower, Pramod Chouhan.
Chouhan later took his own life and alleged in his suicide note that he was being harassed by the applicant for his loan repayment.
The bench in a recent order said: âThe allegations are only to the effect that the plaintiff (Nalawade) demanded the amount of the unpaid loan from the deceased, which was part of his duty as an employee of the finance company. “
“In view of this, the demand for the unpaid loan amount on the part of the person who was in default of the loan amount, during his employment as a duty, to no stretch of the imagination can be considered as an intention to help or induce or encourage the deceased to commit suicide, âhe said.
Pursuant to the ordinance, a police complaint was filed in Washim District in Maharashtra against a man from Pune under section 306 of the IPC for claiming the loan amount from Chouhan.
The prosecution told HC that Chouhan took out a loan from Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Service Limited to purchase a new vehicle, including under a loan deal.
According to the first information report (FIR), dated August 8, 2018 and filed in Shripur in Washim, the finance company sanctioned a loan of Rs 6,21,000 to Chouhan, and it was agreed that it would repay the amount. in four years through monthly installments of Rs 17,800 each. When Chouhan could not repay the loan amount, he committed suicide, the prosecution said.
Chouhan claimed in his suicide note that he was harassed by the petitioner, who repeatedly called him and asked him to return the money, the prosecution said. Nalawade approached the HC to request that the FIR against him be canceled.
While setting aside the FIR, the court said that IPC Article 306 could not be applied to the case of the claimant (Nalawade).
There have been recent cases in Telangana where people allegedly ended their own life after being harassed to repay loans made in alleged violation of regulatory guidelines to gullible and needy victims facing economic hardship.