Madurai: A school headmistress charged with abetting a girl student's suicide by scolding her for allegedly taking Rs 500 from her handbag, got relief today as the Madras High Court quashed the case against her in a lower court in Kumbakonam.
Describing the case as "unfortunate", Justice T Sudandthiram said it was not possible to decide now if the girl had stolen anything from the handbag or the headmistress mistook that the deceased girl had committed theft.
He agreed with petitioner's counsel that she had only advised the girl for removing the money from the handbag and had no bad intention, nor bonafide expectation that the student would commit suicide.
Even as per the prosecution's charge, the ingredients of offence under Sect 305 IPC (abetment) had not been made out and the petitioner was not responsible for the suicide.
Petitioner's counsel also submitted that his client had already paid Rs 2.10 lakh to the girl's mother and a further Rs 1.10 lakh to her before this Court.
The Judge said there was nothing on available facts to show any intentional act by the petitioner for the girl to commit suicide.
Stating that the petitioner could have been more careful in choice of words while scolding the girl, the judge quoted a Supreme Court judgement, saying it is common knowledge that "words uttered in a quarrel or on spur of the moment cannot be taken to be uttered with mens rea. It is in a fit of anger and emotion."
The petitioner cannot be held directly liable for the suicide, he said, and quashed the proceedings in the Judicial Magistrate court at Kumbakonam.
The girl student of a school at Neerathnanallur in the district had committed suicide in February 2011.>