The Supreme Court of India, setting aside the conviction of a man in the abetment of suicide of his wife, stated that in order to prove any crime, the role of “mens rea” is necessary which is stated under Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).The bench comprised of Justices N.V. Ramana, Surya Kant and Hrishikesh Roy.
The case which was presented in 1997 when Gurcharan Singh’s wife committed suicide. The bench said that the presence of mens rea has to be visible in order to establish the guilt for any offence. While his relatives who were charged under Sections 304B (Dowry Death) and 498A (Cruelty) of IPC were acquitted, the husband was convicted under Section 306 (Abetment of Suicide).
The Trial Court as well as the High Court followed the theory in which it was certain that the woman committed suicide could have been taken into consideration to a certain extent but most importantly, the principle of mens rea can act as a strong evidence.