SC: Slapping alone can’t be the sole ground to prove instigation of suicide

The Hon’ble Supreme Court, on 18thJanuary 2019, in the matter of Rajesh v. State of Haryana pronounced that a conviction under Section 306 of IPC on the allegation of harassment is unsustainable in absence of any positive action proximate to the time of occurrence on the part of the accused, which led to or compelled the person to commit suicide.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

A 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. (Para 8)

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. (Para 8)

Therefore, the act of abetment by the person charged with the said offence must be proved and established by the prosecution before he could be convicted under Section 306 IPC. (Para 8)

(Para 10)Words uttered in a fit of anger or omission without any intention cannot be termed as instigation. (Praveen Pradhan v. State of Uttaranchal (2012) 9 SCC 734)

An incident of slapping cannot be the sole ground to hold the accused responsible for instigating the deceased to commit suicide. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 11)

When there is neither provocation nor encouragement by the accused to the deceased to commit an act of suicide, the accused cannot be held guilty of abetting the suicide by the deceased. (This inference has been drawn on the basis of Para 12)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_18-Jan-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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