IPC 306. Abetment of suicide —
If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.
2019 SCeJ 118
18 January, 2019
Penal Code, 1860, Section 306 – Abetment - Conviction under Section 306 IPC is not sustainable on the allegation of harassment without there being any positive action proximate to the time of occurrence on the part of the accused, which led or compelled the person to commit suicide - In order to bring a case within the purview of Section 306 IPC, there must be a case of suicide and in the commission of the said offence, the person who is said to have abetted the commission of suicide must have played an active role by an act of instigation or by doing certain act to facilitate the commission of suicide - Act of abetment must be proved and established - Penal Code, 1860, Section 107. Amalendu Pal alias Jhantu v. State of West Bengal, (2010) 1 SCC 707, referred.
In the suicide note A blamed his father-in-law, his sister-in-law and Brother in law (Appellant) for harassment and threats that he would be implicated in a false case of demand of dowry - Admittedly, a Panchayat was held during which the accused leveled allegations of demand of dowry by A and the Appellant also had slapped A and later apologised - More than five months thereafter, A committed suicide - In the meanwhile, according to the prosecution, A was being threatened by the accused through telephone conversations - There is no proximity between the Panchayat and the suicide, incident of slapping by the Appellant cannot be the sole ground to hold him responsible for instigating the deceased to commit suicide - As the allegations against all the three accused are similar and the father-in-law, his sister-in-law were acquitted by the High Court, the High Court ought not to have convicted the Appellant after acquitting the other two accused - Not in agreement that the deceased committed suicide in view of the continuous threats by the accused regarding his being implicated in a false case of demand of dowry, evidence does not disclose that the Appellant instigated the deceased to commit suicide - There was neither a provocation nor encouragement by the Appellant to the deceased to commit an act of suicide. - Therefore, the Appellant cannot be held guilty of abetting the suicide by the deceased.
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