SECTION 306 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Abetment of suicide

IPC Section-306

Description of IPC Section 306

According to section 306 of Indian penal code, 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.


Offence : Abetting the Commission of suicide

Punishment : 10 Years + Fine

Cognizance : Cognizable

Bail : Non-Bailable

Triable : Court of Session

What is Abetment?

To ‘abet’ means to help, support, encourage, assist another individual to do something wrong or commit a crime. Section 107 of the Indian Penal Code defines Abetment. A person is said to abet the doing of a thing if he/she:

  1. Instigates an individual to do that thing,

  2. Engages with one or more other individual or individuals in any conspiracy for the doing of that thing,

  3. Intentionally aids, by any act or illegal omission, the doing of that thing.

If any individual provokes, allures, persuades, threatens, conspires, commands or intentionally aids any individual in the doing of an illegal act or those acts that are recognised as crime is said to abet that person.

Thus, an individual who was not involved in the actual act (‘actus reus’) of the commission of the offence, but had the mens rea and was involved (by instigating, engaging and intentionally aiding) is punishable under the Indian law for abetment.

Abetment of Suicide under the Indian Penal Code

Under Section 306 of the IPC, abetment to suicide has been defined as the following:

“If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punishable with such imprisonment of either description of a term which may extend to 10 years, and shall also be liable to fine”.

From the above reading of the Section, 3 main essentials need to be fulfilled in order to hold an individual guilty (and punish him/her) for abetment to suicide under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code. These 3 essentials are as follows:

  1. Commission of suicide: The deceased should have committed suicide, i.e. should have ended his/her own life (and not murdered by any other individual). The commission of suicide should be fulfilled in order to hold the accused guilty as only an unfulfilled attempt to commit suicide is not punishable under this Section.

  2. Instigation or abetment of such suicide: The accused should have abetted or instigated the deceased victim to commit suicide.

  3. Direct Involvement: The alleged involvement of the accused in the suicide of the deceased victim should be direct in nature.

Scope of Section 306 of IPC

Mental progression of instigating a person or aiding them intentionally to do an act is known as abetment. There must be a clear intention to commit the offence of abetment for charging a person under Section 306 of IPC. There must also be a direct act, which induced the deceased person to commit suicide.

In M. Mohan v. State, the Supreme Court held that there should be a close link between the accused person’s act and the deceased person’s decision to commit suicide. In the absence of a link, it will be hard to establish that the accused person induced the deceased person to commit suicide. Therefore, abetment by a person happens when the accused provokes or creates such circumstances that the deceased had no other alternative but to commit suicide.

Punishment for Abetment of Suicide under Section 306 IPC

According to Section 306 of the Induan Penal Code, if any person commits suicide, the person found to have abetted the commission of suicide shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 10 years and shall also be liable to fine. Offence under Section 306 IPC is cognizable, non-bailable, non-compoundable, and triable by Court of Sessions.

Instigation as Abetment of Suicide

Instigation to commit suicide (as has been held in landmark judgments), is inferred from a series of acts on the part of accused that led to the creation of such circumstances where the deceased had no other option left with him/her other than committing suicide. These series of acts can be said to include use of force, words, conduct, wilful omission or deeds or even silence of such accused in order to irritate or annoy the victim to such an extent that it led him/her to take steps to end his/her life.

It is important that there is a live or proximate link between the act of abetment and the actual commission of suicide. The element of intention or aiding cannot be attributed to the accused, if there is no such link between the act of abetment and the suicide.

An accusation under Section 306 is a very serious one. A charge for abetment to suicide is widely levied in cases for dowry demand related suicides or those due to cruelty or domestic violence.

What to do if involved in an Abetment of Suicide case?

A crime as serious as an abetment to suicide is a critical case to deal with, either for the accused or the victim. A person charged with an abetment to suicide can face severe penalties if convicted. On the other hand, it is similarly difficult for the prosecutor to prove the charges levied by him/ her. This is why it is important for both the victim and the accused to thoroughly prepare for the case. A person involved in such a case must know all his/her rights before and after arrest. For this purpose, one must the help of his/her lawyer. One should also prepare a timeline of events and take it down on a piece of paper so that it is easier to brief the lawyer about the case. This will also help the lawyer to formulate a strategy to successfully conduct the trials and convince the court to adjudge in your favour.

Further, it is important to have a fair understanding of the law involved in an abetment to suicide case. One must sit with his/her lawyer and understand the procedure as well as the law governing the case. It is also critical to do your own research and understand the risks involved and how you can overcome the same.

What to do if involved in a false Abetment of Suicide Case?

There may be instances where an individual may have been falsely accused of an abetment to suicide under Section 306. In such cases, the accused must talk to his/her lawyer and explain the entire scenario to him/her without even minor alterations as such changes can have a big impact on the case. You should discuss the case thoroughly with the lawyer, even multiple times if you believe that you were not able to make your lawyer understand some of the technicalities involved in the case earlier. You must also do your own research about the case and prepare yourself accordingly for the trials with the help of your lawyer. You should follow your lawyer’s instructions properly and take advice for things even as minor as your appearance in the court.

How to get Bail in Abetment of Suicide Case?

Getting a bail in a case as serious as an abetment to suicide is not an easy task for obvious reasons. The severity of the offence is so much that the crime has been characterized as a non-bailable offence. In order to get bail in such cases, an accused would require very strong reasons. The accused will have to apply for anticipatory bail before the arrest is made if he/she has a reason to believe that they are going to be arrested. The court will consider various essentials such as antecedents of the accused, his/her status in the society, the motive for the offence, police charge sheet, etc. After considering all the essentials if the reasons favour accused bail will be granted. It is crucial to take assistance from an experienced criminal lawyer in cases like these.

Effects of non-dismissal of criminal charges

Being charged with a crime, whether major or minor, is a serious matter. A person facing criminal charges, such as mentioned under section 306, risks severe penalties and consequences, such as jail time, having a criminal record, and loss of relationships and future job prospects, among other things. While some legal matters can be handled alone, a criminal arrest of any nature warrants the legal advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and secure the best possible outcome for your case. Thus, it is crucial to have a good criminal lawyer by your side when charged with a crime as serious as mentioned under section 306 who can guide you with the case and can help get the charges dismissed.

Why do you need a Lawyer?

If you are filing or defending your case under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code, you will need the help of a criminal lawyer. A good criminal lawyer is a prerequisite to ensuring that you are guided properly and in the right direction. A lawyer having substantial experience in handling criminal cases can guide you through the court procedure and can help you prepare a solid defense for your case. He can prepare you for cross-examinations and guide you on how to answer the prosecution’s questions. A criminal lawyer is an expert in dealing with criminal cases and knows how to tackle a particular case owing to his years of experience. Having a good criminal lawyer by your side you can ensure a successful result in your case in the minimum time possible.

FAQ's on IPC Section 306

What offence is defined under IPC 306?

IPC 306 Offence: Abetting the Commission of suicide.

What is the punishment for IPC 306 Case?

The punishment for IPC 306 is 10 Years + Fine.

Is IPC 306 cognizable offence or non-cognizable offence?

IPC 306 is a Cognizable.

How to file/defend your case for IPC 306 offence?

Use LawRato for filing/defending your case under IPC 306 with the help of best criminal lawyers near you.

Is IPC 306 bailable or non-bailable offence?

IPC 306 is a Non-Bailable offence.

In what court can IPC 306 be tried?

IPC 306 is tried in the court of Court of Session.

Legal Questions Answered by Top Lawyers on IPC 306

Related Topics