Abetment to Suicide-Refusal to Marry not an Instigation to Commit Suicide

March 12, 2019

Case name: Kewal Krishnakant Vishwakarma v. State of Chattisgarh

The facts of the case were that the deceased committed suicide at her house by consuming poisonous substance subsequent to Applicant’s refusal to marry her. Apparently, for the last two years, the Applicant had been visiting the house of the deceased and he had also made a promise to the deceased and her family members that he will marry her. But, later on, on the date of incident, he telephonically refused to marry her by saying that she belongs to a poor family and he is a doctor.

Consequently, a charge-sheet had been filed against the Applicant for abetment to commit suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.

Bench’s Verdict

In revision, the High Court of Chattisgarh allowed the Applicant’s revision application on the basis of following observations in the case:

That a person is said to “instigate” another to an act, when he actively suggests or stimulates him to the act by any means of language direct or indirect whether it takes the form of express solicitation or of hints, insinuation or encouragement. The word “instigate” means to goad, urge forward, provoke, incite or encourage to do an act.

That as Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code makes abetment of commission of suicide punishable, therefore, for making liable for an offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, it is the duty of the prosecution to establish that such person has abetted the commission of suicide and for the purpose of determining the act of the accused, it is necessary to see that his act must fall in any of the three ingredients as enumerated under Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code and, therefore, it is necessary to prove that the said accused has instigated the person to commit suicide or must have engaged with one or more persons in any conspiracy for seeking that the deceased commits suicide or he must intentionally aid by any act or illegal commission of the suicide by the deceased.

In view of the facts admitted in the case, the Court observed that there was nothing available to establish that the Applicant had been continuously torturing or harassing the deceased physically or mentally and he refused to marry the deceased on a telephonic call itself.

That making refusal by the Applicant to the deceased cannot be said to be an instigation on the part of the Applicant. That if, on refusal of marriage, any girl or boy commits suicide, it will generate huge number of litigations of offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.

Therefore, only on refusal of marriage, if a girl or boy commits suicide, that cannot be held to be a case of offence punishable under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.