INDIA. Mumbai: The FIR filed against Dadra and Nagar Haveli Administrator Praful Khoda Patel and others on charges of abetment to suicide committed by MP Mohan Sanjibhai Delkar (58) suicide, in a Mumbai hotel in February 2021 was quashed by a division bench comprising Justices Prasanna Varale and Shrikant Kulkarni of the Bombay High Court, on Thursday.
Delkar, a seven-time MP from Dadra and Nagar Haveli, was found dead inside a room in Hotel Sea Green South at Marine Drive in South Mumbai on February 22, 2021. He had allegedly committed suicide by hanging by a ceiling fan. In a 14-page suicide note, he had blamed political pressure for taking the drastic step.
He had won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate. However, there have been reports that he faced harassment from the local administration after he left BJP and contested the election as an Independent.
He has not been invited to official public functions as a local representative, and attempts were made to demolish the SSR College of Arts, Science and Commerce set up by his father at Silvassa.
He was under pressure for a year due to the harassment by the administration of the Union Territory, allegedly as per orders of Administrator Praful Patel, the FIR stated.
An FIR 36/2021, dated March 9, 2021, was registered by his son Abhinav Delkar with the Marine Drive police station under sections 306(abetment to suicide), 506 (criminal intimidation), 389 (putting a person in fear of accusation of offence), 120 B read with section 3 of the scheduled caste scheduled tribe act and atrocity act. Subsequently, additional FIRs were registered against other D & N Haveli officials.
Praful Khoda Patel, District Magistrate Sandeep Singh, Superintendent of Police Sharad Darade, Deputy Magistrate Apurva Sharma, Sub-divisional officer Manasvi Jain, Police Inspector Manoj Patel, D & N Haveli’s Law Secretary Rohit Yadav, and BJP leader Fatehsinh Chauhan were named in the FIR.
On Thursday, the bench stated that all FIRs stand quashed. Even connected matters are quashed. It is believed the petition has merit in all respects. The court can use its authority to stop legal abuse under Section 482 in this case. The FIR 36/2021, dated March 09, 2021, registered by Abhinav Delkar, is set aside.
The petitioners, who disputed the FIR, maintained that the FIR did not mention that Delkar was ever subjected to any grievous hurt or assault, and there was no threat to impose a social or economic boycott contemplated in the section.
Contrarily, the record revealed that he was always treated with dignity and respect due to both being a person and a member of parliament.
Furthermore, it was argued that there must have been an attempt or conspiracy to aid the deceased in committing suicide for the FIR to meet the requirements of Section 306 (abetment of suicide) of the IPC.
The petitions argued that a simple claim of harassment without any affirmative behaviour on the part of the accused close to the time of the occurrence that led to the person’s decision to commit suicide would not hold up.
“It was also submitted that the administration has never been against the deceased, and there was no single incident of the dead being personally subjected to any legal proceedings by the administration. Every action initiated was about the official act done by Administrator Praful Khoda Patel. Therefore, he cannot be held responsible or criminally liable for the same,” the plea stated.
Congress called for Praful Khoda Patel to be fired as the administrator of Dadra and Nagar Haveli shortly after Delkar committed suicide. A judicial commission was required to be established by Congress to investigate his death and the harassment he endured.
After Mohan Delkar’s demise, his widow Kalaben Delkar won the by-election by a margin of 51269 votes on the Shiv Sena ticket defeating Mahesh Gavit (BJP) and Mahesh Dhodi (Congress) from D & N Haveli Lok Sabha constituency in November 2021.
Also Read: A Demand For Judicial Probe Into A Suicidal Death Of MP Mohan Delkar