Abetment to suicide

#GS2 #Laws #Judiciary

The intention to abet suicide cannot be assumed and it needs to be backed by solid, visible proof, the Supreme Court held in a judgment.

 

What is ‘abetment to suicide’?

  • ‘Abetment’ is defined in Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Its ingredients consist of instigating a person or to intentionally aid a person to do or not do something. Similarly, the crime of ‘abetment of suicide’ under Section 306 of the IPC involves instigating or actively aiding a person to take his own life.

What did the Supreme Court say?

  • The police cannot assume the intention (mens rea) of the abettor of a suicide. It has to be evident, it held. 
  • In order to prove mens rea, there has to be something on record to establish or show that the appellant herein had a guilty mind and in furtherance of that state of mind, abetted the suicide of the deceased. 
  • The ingredient of mens rea cannot be assumed to be ostensibly present but has to be visible and conspicuous.
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