Indian Penal Code
107. Abetment of a thing. – A person abets the doing of a thing, who –
First. – Instigates any person to do that thing; or
Secondly. – Engages with one or more other person or persons in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing, if an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of that conspiracy, and in order to the doing of that thing; or
Thirdly. – Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing.
Explanation 1. – A person who, by willful misrepresentation, or by willful concealment of a material fact which he is bound to disclose, voluntarily causes or procures, or attempts to cause or procure, a thing to be done, is said to instigate the doing of that thing.
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.
It is clear that for a person to be charged with an offence u/s 306 of the IPC, that is, abetment of suicide; the abetment should be such as would fall within the definition of Section 107 of the IPC. Section 107 of the IPC broadly categorizes, and therefore, defines abetment as Constituting:
(i) Instigating a person to commit an offence;
(ii) Engaging in a conspiracy to commit such an offence; or
(iii) Intentionally aiding a person to commit an offence. (see observations in Sanju @ Sanjay Singh Senger supra) at page 1144 in paragraph 6)
Instigation which is synonymous with abetment is defined as an act whereby one goads, urges, provokes, incites or encourages a person to commit an offence, and in the present case the offence of suicide. [see Hiralal Jain (supra) and Black.s Law dictionary 6th edition at page 799]. Therefore, for the prosecution to prove that the petitioner-accused abetted the commission of suicide by the deceased, it would necessarily have to prove that the petitioner-accused firstly; instigated, goaded, urged and provoked the commission of suicide. Secondly, the principal offence was committed, which in this case, is suicide. And lastly, that the accused intended to aid or encourage the commission of the principal offence. In other words, the presence of mens rea is of utmost importance, before a person can be charged with offence of abetment of the principal offence.
113A. Presumption as to abetment of suicide by a married woman. – When the question is whether the commission of suicide by a woman had been abetted by her husband or any relative of her husband and it is shown that she had committed suicide within a period of seven years from the date of her marriage and that her husband or such relative of her husband had subjected her to cruelty, the Court may presume, having regard to all the other circumstances of the case, that such suicide had been abetted by her husband or by such relative of her husband.
Explanation – For the purposes of this section, “cruelty” shall have the same meaning as in Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code (45 of 1860).
For the Court to presume abetment of suicide by the husband or the relative of the husband the following ingredients would have to exist.
(i) The suicide must be committed within seven years of marriage.
(ii) The husband or the relative of the husband should have subjected the victim to cruelty as defined u/s 498A of the IPC.
- Arvind Kumar and Another Vs. State of Madhya Pradesh, AIR 2007 SC 2674 : (2007) CriLJ 3741 : (2007) 2 DMC 178 : (2007) 9 JT 398 : (2007) 9 SCALE 324 : (2007) 8 SCR 474 : (2007) AIRSCW 4830
- Devi Lal Vs. State of Rajasthan, AIR 2008 SC 332 : (2007) 2 DMC 743 : (2007) 12 JT 114 : (2007) 12 SCALE 265 : (2007) 11 SCR 219 : (2007) AIRSCW 6871
- L.I.C. of India Vs. Anwar Khan (since deceased) through Lrs., (2007) 113 FLR 979 : (2007) 2 LLJ 1027 : (2007) 6 SCALE 34 : (2007) 11 SCC 25 : (2008) 1 SCC(L&S) 664 : (2007) 5 SCR 450
- Gurbachan Singh Vs. Satpal Singh and others, AIR 1990 SC 209 : (1990) CriLJ 562 : (1989) 3 Crimes 526(1) : (1989) 3 Crimes 526 : (1990) 1 DMC 1 : (1989) 4 JT 38 : (1989) 2 SCALE 677 : (1990) 1 SCC 445 : (1989) 1 SCR 292 Supp
- Pawan Kumar and Others Vs. State of Haryana, (1998) 2 AD 1 : AIR 1998 SC 958 : (1998) CriLJ 1144 : (1998) 1 Crimes 164 : (1998) 1 DMC 165 : (1998) 1 JT 565 : (1998) 1 SCALE 486 : (1998) 3 SCC 309 : (1998) 1 SCR 745 : (1998) AIRSCW 721 : (1998) 1 Supreme 505
- Avinash J. Mahale and Others Vs. State of Maharashtra, (2006) CriLJ 3123
Sarbans Singh and Others Vs. State of NCT of Delhi, (2005) CriLJ 2625 : (2005) 116 DLT 698 : (2005) 1 DMC 305 : (2005) 79 DRJ 542