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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Abetment of suicide of woman, son: Bombay HC grants temporary pre-arrest bail to accused

Reshma Trenchil killed herself and her seven-year-old son by jumping off from their 12th-floor flat in a highrise in Powai.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
July 24, 2021 9:28:14 pm
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The Bombay High Court recently granted temporary anticipatory bail to a 60-year-old woman, who was booked after her neighbour, a 44-year-old woman, along her minor son died by suicide in Chandivali, Andheri, last month.

Reshma Trenchil killed herself and her seven-year-old son by jumping off from their 12th-floor flat in a highrise in Powai. She left behind a one-page suicide note, blaming a family that stayed downstairs for harassing her by complaining about her son making too much noise. Trenchil’s husband had died of Covid a few days prior to the incident.

A single-judge bench of Justice Sarang V Kotwal on July 19 heard the pre-arrest bail plea by Shehnaz Ayub Khan in connection with the case, punishable under Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC, registered with the Sakinaka police station.

Senior Advocate Aabad Ponda for Khan said her son is already arrested, while her husband has been granted pre-arrest bail by the sessions court. He added that lodging complaints by itself would not fall within the meaning of “abatement” as per the IPC. Ponda added that since Khan learned that Trenchil’s husband died, she had stopped making complaints against her and hence, deserves to be granted protection from arrest.

Additional Public Prosecutor H J Dedhia for the police opposed the plea and submitted that Khan and her family had the habit of harassing those residing on the upper floor and an earlier tenant of the particular flat had also stated to be harassed by Khan’s family.

The bench noted, “Gravity of the offence will have to be taken into consideration. It has to be seen whether the complaints made by the applicant were merely in the nature of petty quarrels between the neighbours or if there was any inhuman treatment given to the deceased in spite of knowing the fact that her husband, at that point, was on ventilator and ultimately had died due to Covid-19.”

After Dedhia sought time to respond to the court’s queries about the nature of allegations against the applicant, the HC granted the same and protected Khan by way of interim order. The HC said in the event of her arrest, till next hearing date of August 23, she be released on bail on her executing personal bond of Rs 30,000 with one or two sureties in the like amount.

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