• Author Name: Seema Nandalal Saroj
  • Details:  Advocate, Bombay High Court, B.Com, LLM, Diploma Cyber Law Two plus years of experience in handling civil matters, Administrative tribunal matters, currently practicing in small causes court and High Court



“चिता चिन्तासमा हि उक्ता बिन्दुमात्रविशेषतः ।”

“सजीवं दहते चिन्ता निर्जीवं दहते चिता ॥”

Only a dot (anusvara) separates funeral pyre (chita) and worry (chinta) otherwise they are said to be similar; the former destroys a dead body while the latter destroys a living person.

 

“Suicide” or self – annihilation is a common incident affecting the people of all classes throughout the globe. It is an exceptional crime where both the accused and victim is the same person affecting himself. Attempt to suicide and abetment of suicide are two different concept, which is punishable under Sec. 309 and Sec.306 of Indian Penal Code. Section 306 deals with the punishment for abetment of suicide while section 309 punishes for the attempt to commit suicide.

Abetment in its literal sense means, the instigation of a person to do (or not to do) an act in a certain way, or aid given by some person to another either on his own choice or circumstances arising out of joint and constructive liability. Abetment to suicide involves a mental process of instigating an individual or intentionally helping a person in taking his life on his very own.

Section 305 under Indian Penal Code, 1860 provides for the punishment of an individual who abets the commission of the suicide of a child, not being eighteen years of age, an insane or delirious or an idiot individual or a person being intoxicated, which is death or life imprisonment, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Chitresh Kumar Chopra v. State (Govt. of NCT of Delhi)

In this case the court analyzed the dictionary meaning of the word “instigation” and “goading”. The court opined that there should be intention to provoke, incite or encourage the doing of an act by the latter. Each person’s suicidal pattern is different from the others and has his own idea about self- esteem and self-respect. Therefore, no straight – jacket formula can be created and imparted in dealing with such cases as each case has to be decided on the basis of its own facts and circumstances.

“The recent case of Sushant Singh Rajput which was rumoured to be abetted for suicide. Although, there is no concrete evidence to that effect. Recently, Advocate Sudhir Kumar Ojha from Muzaffarpur has filed a petition against many prominent movie personalities for allegedly boycotting Sushant and indirectly forcing him to die. The petition was filed under Sections 306 (Abetment of suicide), 109 (Punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence and where no express provision is made for its punishment), 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke break of the peace), and 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC in connection with the shocking demise of actor Sushant Singh Rajput who committed suicide.”

Thus, abetment to suicide is made punishable in most of the countries and suicide is not a personal choice until influenced by other individuals and hence the stringent laws threatens the society and controls the commission of offences.