September 30, 2022

Kinkini Chaudhuri

The author is a third year law student at Amity University Kolkata.

suicide

Introduction

The abettor is defined under Section 108 of the IPC. A person who aids in the commission of an offence is one who aids in the conduct of a crime or an act that would have constituted a crime if that act is undertaken by a person who is capable under the law of committing a crime with the same purpose or information as that of the abettor.[1]

According to Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, “If any individual commits suicide, whoever aids in the commission of such suicide shall be punished with either a term of imprisonment, which may extend for a period of ten years, or a fine.”[2]

Section 306: Section 306 states that


If any person commits suicide, and is found to have been abetted for the commission of such suicide, then he shall be punishable with either an imprisonment which can be for a term up to ten years, and shall also be liable to a fine.[3]

Abetment of suicide is an offence which can be tried in a Court of Sessions and is considered to be cognizable, non-bailable or non-compoundable in nature.

Cognizable offence: A police officer can make an arrest without a warrant from a court.

Non-bailable offence: Bail is granted to the accused at the discretion of the court, and not as a matter of right.

Non-compoundable offence: This means when the case cannot be withdrawn by the complainant even when the complainant and the accused have reached to a compromise. In this case, the court will not allow for the withdrawal of the case having involved in a non-compoundable offence.[4]

Enforcement of Section 306 in Indian Penal Code:

In order to avoid “Sati”, Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 was added, which was a very popular practice in the previous years in India. In that practice, widows used to commit Sati because of their suffering. As a result, this provision was provided to eradicate this wickedness. Later, as time has passed by, it was found that the main reason why widows used to commit Sati was due to mistreatment by her mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and her better-half.[5]

These individuals were found to be guilty due to aiding and abetting her suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. The accused was found mistreating the deceased because of the the main reason being due to improper amount of dowry. The material on file established a pattern of unrelenting harassment and brutality. The dead was obliged to commit suicide by ingesting a poisonous drug as a result of this. Sections 306 and 498-A were used to convict the accused’s husband.[6]

The presence of mens rea is critical before the offence under section 306 can be proven.

To be found guilty of abetment to commit suicide under this provision of the Code, there should be a clear presence of Mens Rea, where there must be a goal to aggravate, instigate, or persuade the other person to commit the act. Suicide must have been attempted; yet, a person may assist suicide through words of mouth, or through deeds, or could be both.[7]

A person is said to have abetted another to commit a suicide when he, either through his actions or through his omissions, or a pattern of behavior, produced circumstances in which the other had no choice but was left to commit suicide. Abetment does not include words spoken in a fit of rage or emotion with no aim of inducing someone to commit suicide. To hold the accused liable for aiding and abetting suicide, he must have played an active role in the act.[8]

Scope and Ambit of Section 306 of Indian Penal Code:

Abetment is a mental process of inciting or actively assisting someone in performing a specific task. The legislature’s intent and the number of judgments decided by the Supreme Court make it clear that in order to make a person/individual liable for a criminal act, the main ingredient should be mens rea. It also necessitates a dynamic or direct act that caused the deceased to commit suicide because he had no other option, and that act must have been designed to place the deceased in a position where he had no choice but to commit himself.[9]

Conclusion: Aided suicide, whether by inciting the sufferer to commit suicide or assisting the victim in committing suicide. Because the scope of the rule is confined to only three categories, the accused can simply circumvent the criminal provisions dealing with such offenses. As a result, it is necessary that the provisions dealing with the charge of abetment be amended in such a way that offenders are unable to avoid the laws, change cases to suit their own needs, and escape punishment.[10]

Furthermore, the laws must be interpreted in a broad sense rather than a narrow one. However, each case must be judged on its own facts and circumstances in order for justice to prevail. The current abetment definition is inadequate. The section covers aid, instigation, and conspiracy, but there are times when a person’s actions do not strictly fall into these three categories but nevertheless pressurise a person to commit suicide.[11]


[1] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[2] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[3] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[4] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[5] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[6] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[7] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[8] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[9] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[10] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

[11] Kishan Dutt Kalaskar, Abetment To Suicide An Offence Under Section 306 of Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, (Jan. 25, 2022, 6:35PM), https://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-4864-abetment-to-suicide-an-offence-under-section-306-of-indian-penal-code-ipc-1860.html

Visit us https://lawogs.co.in

Join us: https://t.me/lawogs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: