(If you feel suicidal or know someone in distress, please reach out to them with kindness and call these numbers of local emergency services, helplines, and mental health NGOs.)
In the most recent dispatch of bizarre criminal cases, a Bengaluru woman’s plan, concocted along with her boyfriend, to get her husband killed, backfired horribly.
At first, all was going (allegedly) according to plan: the duo had hired contract killers to do the job and paid them 90,000 rupees in advance. Two of the three contract killers had hired the boyfriend’s cab to go to Tamil Nadu and were subsequently joined by the third. Then the trio kidnapped the husband and held him at a house. Next, they had to murder him.
Simple enough, right?
But Daya, kuch gadbad hai — or so the woman and her boyfriend perhaps felt. Thus they asked the trio who had abducted the man to send a picture as proof of the crime, as it were.
The husband, however, gave jurm a muh-tod jawab...
KAHANI MEIN TWIST
...And befriended his kidnappers.
And so, what happened next was a reverse-palaver/ploy. Or as screen villain Ajit would say - 'daabal cross' ! The four new friends (three abductors + abducted hubby) lathered the man's body with ketchup and sent the "Oh my God, laash" photo as fake-proof that they had done the deed.
But then, came the unintended twist.
AND (UNINTENDED) TRAGEDY STRIKES
The boyfriend, who had been an active part of the plan all along, however, was terrified now. Led to believe by the 'ketchup pic' that the husband had been killed, and overcome with the fear of being caught and sent to jail, the man ended his own life.
The husband, on the other hand, returned home a few days later. He even seemingly refused to pay heed to Anup Soni's well-meant advice and stay satark. Instead, he reportedly asked the police to spare his wife claiming he was still in love with her. But the police, being, you know, the police, arrested all the accused anyway.
So under what charges can the wife be booked?
Shrey Sharawat, Criminal Law expert told The Quint that as per the facts available in news reports, the wife can be booked under criminal conspiracy (120B IPC), abduction in order to murder (364 IPC) and even abetment to commit the above-mentioned offences "as she allegedly engaged herself in a criminal conspiracy with the contract killers who, at her instance, abducted her husband and wrongfully restrained him."
And what about the kidnappers?
"The three contract killers can be booked for abduction (364 IPC) and wrongful restraint (341 IPC)," Sharawat told The Quint.
But what about the fact that they were all now friends of the husband?
"The friendship was struck between the husband and the accused only after the offences against the body of the husband were complete and therefore the subsequent friendship is of no relevance," Sharawat said.
The boyfriend, though, died by suicide. Can anybody be booked for abetment of suicide?
Nope. No one in this case can be booked for abetment of suicide, because there was no apparent conspiracy to enable the suicide.
"Ingredients of Section 107 (abetment) of the Indian Penal Code are missing from the facts narrated in the media reports," Sharawat further told The Quint.
"For a person to be booked for abetment of suicide, not only should there be a live link between the act of the accused and the alleged suicide but also the elements of instigation, conspiracy and intentional aiding qua the commission of suicide should be there."Shrey Sharawat, Criminal Law Expert
"As there was no intentional aiding, no goading, no overt act or any conspiracy between the husband and the contract killers so as to ensure that the boyfriend dies by suicide. Therefore no mens rea (culpable mind) can be attributed to any of them," Sharawat added.
In simple words, it was not anybody's intention that the man ends up dying by suicide and they did not do any act which would instigate him to do so.
"The man got scared and died by suicide and not because of the fact that he was intentionally goaded or instigated by them to do so."
The Consequence(s) of a Crime
In any case, and on a serious note, crime has a tendency to wreak multiple tragedies.
A man lost his life amid all this.
The husband may have survived the kidnapping and the criminal conspiracy, but that does not alter any feeling of betrayal he may be experiencing.
Besides, his wife is now in jail — a place where he clearly did not want her to end up.
Finally, the contract killers, who may have had a turn of heart, are also expected to be charged under relevant provisions of kidnapping and wrongful restraint and will most likely serve jail time.
(With inputs from The Indian Express.)