The Bombay High Court has set aside the conviction of a man in a case of abetment of suicide of his wife. “Merely because suicide was committed within seven years of a marriage, it would not automatically give rise to the presumption that suicide had been abetted by the husband,” the bench observed. A single bench of Justice A.S. Chandurkar was hearing an appeal filed by 24-year-old Sheshrao Dange, a labourer and agriculturist, against his conviction under section 306 (abetment of suicide) and 498 A (husband or relative of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code.Father filed complaintMr. Dange married Meena in April 2000 and the couple had a child. Meena died in April 2002 and soon thereafter, her father lodged a complaint alleging that his daughter had committed suicide because of demand for dowry. Mr. Dange, his parents and his sister were tried for the offences. While Mr. Dange was convicted, the others were acquitted.On August 26, 2003, Mr. Dange was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for five years under Section 306 and one year under Section 498 A of IPC. The additional public prosecutor in the case submitted that the death of the wife occurred within seven years of the marriage and there was, therefore, a presumption under the provisions of The Evidence Act.After examining the facts of the case, the Court concluded that the prosecution failed to prove its case against Mr. Dange beyond reasonable doubt.