The Gujarat High Court has said that it is not a crime to ask an employee to maintain discipline in the office. If an employer asks an employee to maintain discipline and the latter commits suicide, the employer cannot be charged under Section 306 of the IPC for inciting suicide, the court said.
The bench said that insisting on maintaining discipline in the office is not an offense under the Indian Penal Code. The owner or head of any company can insist on discipline at least in the office. If a certain employee is sensitive and panics, leading to suicide, the offense of incitement to suicide cannot be registered against the employer.
The father of the suicide victim in the case had filed a lawsuit against the owners. The deceased employee was threatened by the employer for attending a function held by her client during office hours. The employers had sought quashing of the FIR registered under sections 306 and 114 of the IPC.
The plaintiff alleged that his daughter committed suicide following harassment by the owners of the company. He claimed that the applicants had reprimanded her for attending the function during office hours and threatened to take legal action against her. They had also said that her license could be suspended.
Meanwhile, the employer said that the charges do not apply to him on an immediate basis. If the owner intends to maintain discipline in the office, it is not a provocation for suicide.
The bench said the incident took place on June 23, 2020, but the victim committed suicide a week later. The FIR was registered nine days later. The bench said that suicide could have been a result of any other circumstance in the victim’s life. The bench said that the employers’ father did not have a case and dismissed the matter.