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SECTION 306 IPC - Indian Penal Code - Abetment of suicide


Last Updated: 01 Feb, 2024
By Advocate Chikirsha Mohanty


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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.



IPC 306 in Simple Words

Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code states that if a person commits suicide, anyone who encourages or aids in the act can be punished with imprisonment for up to ten years, and may also be fined.

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Description. 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.


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Offence : Abetting the Commission of suicide


Punishment : 10 Years + Fine


Cognizance : Cognizable


Bail : Non-Bailable


Triable : Court of Session





Get a comprehensive understanding and guidance on IPC Section 306 and on other IPC sections at Indian Penal Code,1860

Understand the crucial criteria under which a person can be held guilty under IPC Section 306. Know the bail procedure, and rights of person involved in IPC 306 and of person falsely accused under IPC 306. Make sound legal decisions by choosing LawRato, your trusted legal partner.



WHAT IS SECTION 306, IPC?

Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code provides for the offence of “Abetment to Suicide”. it is a non-bailable and cognizable offence, allowing the police to make an arrest without a warrant. In simple words, anyone who encourages or aids in the act of suicide of another can face imprisonment for up to ten years, along with possible fines or both.



UNDERSTANDING ABETMENT

In order to understand the offence under Section 306, IPC it is important to gain clarity on what constitutes ‘Abetment’.

Broadly, to ‘abet’ means to help, support, encourage, assist another individual to do something.

Section 107, IPC defines Abetment as –

A person is said to abet the doing of a thing if he/she:

1. Instigates an individual to do that thing; OR

2. Engages with one or more other individual or individuals 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

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

Therefore, if any individual provokes, allures, persuades, threatens, conspires, commands or intentionally aids or assists another individual in the doing of an offence, he is said to abet the commission of that offence.

You can read more about IPC Section 107 at LawRato’s extensive guide of 500+ IPC 1860 sections|LawRato.com.

If you have any uncertainties regarding IPC 306, you can solve them by asking free queries using LawRato’s ask a free question and free legal advice service. Your legal queries will be answered by top-rated legal experts within 48 working hours.

Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India



UNDERSTANDING SECTION 306, IPC.

After having gained an overview of what constitutes abetment, it is easier to understand Section 306, IPC.

To put it simplistically, a person commits Abetment of Suicide when:

1. He/she instigates someone to commit suicide, OR

2. He/she is part of a conspiracy to make a person commit suicide, OR

3. He/she intentionally helps the victim to commit suicide by doing an act or by not doing something that he was bound to do.

In order to better understand Section 306, IPC better, let us imagine the following –

  • A, has been persistently harassing B, her daughter-in-law in regards to demands for dowry. A has been maltreating and abusing her - in private and in public - before relatives and friends. B has been threatened by A that the former will be turned out of the matrimonial home if she or her parents don’t meet the dowry-demand by the end of next month. A is joined in this dowry-related-cruelty by C, her daughter (B’s sister-in-law) who occasionally slaps B if the latter commits a mistake while attending to domestic chores. As the end of the month draws near, cruelty (at the hands of A and C) turns into death threats and physical violence – beating and starving of B. On the last day of the month, B having unable to meet the requisite dowry demands of A is taken in by drinks poison and kills herself. A and C have committed the offence of Abetment of Suicide of B punishable under Section 306, IPC.



UNDERSTANDING CRIMINAL LIABILITY UNDER IPC

Generally, for any criminal liability to arise i.e., for a person to be held guilty for any offence under the IPC, it is important that he/she fulfils the essential criminal ingredients or criteria stipulated under IPC for that offence.

Broadly, IPC defines offences by laying down two of its essential components –

a. Actus Reus i.e., the criminal act which the accused must have compulsorily performed.

AND

b. Mens Rea i.e., the criminal mind which the accused must have compulsorily entertained while performing the above-stated criminal act.

It is when the accused performs a criminal act under the influence of a criminal mind, that he can be said to have committed the offence in the eyes of law.

In other words, the criminal act should co-exist with a criminal mind in order for an act to be an offence and for the criminal liability to arise thereunder.

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WHEN CAN A PERSON BE HELD GUILTY UNDER SECTION 306, IPC?

For a person to be held guilty for the offence of Abetment of Suicide under Section 306, IPC it is important for the prosecution to compulsorily prove the following:

1. Nature of the criminal act for Abetment of Suicide:

a. Commission of suicide –

The act of Abetment by the accused should be of such a nature that the abetted person commits suicide because of it.

For the criminal liability to arise under Section 306, IPC it is important that the deceased (abetted person) should have committed suicide, i.e., he should have ended his/her own life (and not be murdered by another). An unfulfilled attempt by the abetted person at committing suicide will not attract criminal liability for the accused under this Section.

b. Direct Involvement –

The alleged involvement of the accused in the form of Abetment which led to the commission of suicide by the deceased (abetted person), should be direct in nature.

There should be a close link between the accused person’s act of Abetment 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.

If the act was not of the above description, it is not a criminal act for the purpose of Section 306, IPC. Failing the fulfilment of the above-stated two conditions, a person could not be convicted of the offence of Abetment of Suicide.

2. Nature of the criminal mind for Abetment of Suicide:

The accused must have committed the act of Abetment as stated above while entertaining either of the following criminal minds (criminal mind for Abetment of Suicide under Section 306, IPC is same as the criminal mind necessary for committing Abetment under Section 107, IPC):

a. The accused may have intentionally instigated another to commit suicide. Intentional instigation may manifest in the form of provocation, persuasion, commanding/ordering, threatening by words etc.

OR

b. The accused may have engaged (with one or more other person/s) in a criminal conspiracy, the ultimate object of which must be to lead another individual to commit suicide. It is important for the offence of Abetment under this clause to complete, that an act or illegal omission takes place in pursuance of such conspiracy, thereby leading another to commit suicide

For persons to come together in a criminal conspiracy, the engagement between them must arrive at an agreement (as per Section 120A, IPC). Such an agreement should find its source in the criminal intention (not knowledge or belief) of the participating individuals i.e., the participants to such conspiracy must be fully intent or desirous of cumulatively leading another (individual outside of the circle of conspirators) to commit suicide.

Criminal conspiracy as contemplated under this clause may manifest in the form of conspirators creating such situation/circumstances for the abetted person that he/she has no other alternative but to commit suicide.

OR

c. The accused may have intentionally aided, by any act or illegal omission, the commission of suicide by another.

Intentional aiding may manifest in the form of assisting someone through actions or omissions (not doing something that he was legally bound to do) in committing suicide like procuring poison for deceased’s act of suicide, helping the deceased secure a hangman’s noose for the latter’s act of suicide.

3. Performance of the criminal act accompanied by the criminal mind i.e., execution of the offence

While entertaining either of the various kinds of intention – to instigate, conspire or aid (criminal mind) the accused must have directly abetted another to commit suicide (criminal act). This would constitute the offence of Abetment of Suicide.

The co-existence of the criminal mind and the criminal act should be proved by the prosecution in order to establish guilt under Section 306, IPC.

An experienced lawyer can increase the chances of the accused being held guilty under IPC 306. Find and consult expert criminal advocates near your city using LawRato who are well-versed in local laws and are proven experts in providing reliable legal representation.

Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India

UNDERSTANDING ‘INSTIGATION’ AS ABETMENT OF SUICIDE UNDER SECTION 306, IPC

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 but to commit 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 leads him/her 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, IPC is a very serious one. A charge for Abetment of Suicide is widely levied in cases for dowry demand related suicides or those due to cruelty or domestic violence.

Get in touch with the best domestic violence lawyers in India using LawRato if you have been charged under DV-related IPC sections like 498A. Consult experienced DV advocates to increase the chances of dropping charges against you in case of false dowry or DV case.



CAN A POLICE-OFFICER MAKE AN ARREST UNDER SECTION 306, IPC WITHOUT WARRANT?

Yes, a police officer can arrest a person suspected to have committed an offence under Section 306, IPC without warrant from the Court (a warrant is a Court-order authorising a police officer to carry out an arrest).



IS THE OFFENCE UNDER SECTION 306, IPC, BAILABLE?

No, the offence under Section 306, IPC is not bailable.



HOW TO GET BAIL IF CHARGED UNDER SECTION 306, IPC?

Getting 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.

Depending on the stage of the case, the accused can either apply for a regular bail after he has been arrested or can ideally apply for an anticipatory bail before the arrest is made. The court will consider various essentials such as antecedents of the accused, his 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.

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REGULAR-BAIL

1. In order to apply for regular bail when one is wrongfully accused under Section 306 IPC, the alleged accused will have to submit an application for bail in the court of Area Magistrate.

2. The court will then send the summons out to the other party and will fix a date for the hearing.

3. On the date of hearing, the court will hear arguments from both sides and would give a decision based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

ANTICIPATORY-BAIL

1. In case the accused has an apprehension of an arrest under Section 306 of the IPC, he or she can also file an application for anticipatory bail with the help of a criminal lawyer.

2. The lawyer will file the anticipatory bail application in the requisite court having the authority to adjudge the particular criminal matter along with a vakalatnama.

3. The court will then notify a public prosecutor about the anticipatory bail application and would ask him to file objections, if any.

4. Thereafter, the court will appoint a date of hearing and after hearing the final arguments of both the parties would give a judgment based on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Consulting qualified anticipatory bail attorneys near you can highly increase the chances of obtaining anticipatory bail under IPC 306. Now you can obtain enough time to approach experienced criminal lawyers near your city using LawRato who can professionally decode your case and let you clearly understand your rights and defences under IPC 306.



EFFECTS OF NON-DISMISSAL OF CHARGES UNDER SECTION 306, IPC

Regardless of its severity, being charged with a crime is a serious matter. While some legal matters can be handled alone, a criminal arrest of any nature warrants the legal advice of a qualified criminal defence 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, IPC who can guide you with the case and can help get the charges dismissed.



IS THE OFFENCE UNDER SECTION 306, IPC, COMPOUNDABLE?

The offence under Section 306, IPC is not compoundable i.e., law does not allow for a compromise to be recorded between the victim and the offender.

It is a serious offence and the law requires that the offender be put to trial and punished.



WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT PROVIDED UNDER SECTION 306, IPC?

Under Section 306, IPC, 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.



WHAT TO DO IF INVOLVED IN AN ABETMENT OF SUICIDE CASE?

A crime as serious as an Abetment of Suicide is a critical case to deal with, both for the victim and the accused.

A person accused under an Abetment of Suicide can face severe penalties, if convicted. On the other hand, it is equally difficult for the prosecution to prove the charges levied by it against such accused.

This is why it is important for both the prosecution and the defence to thoroughly prepare for the case.

A person involved in such a case must know all his/her rights before and after an arrest. For this purpose, one must take 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. The lawyer will be able to guide you on the available defences, pleas and bargains likely to be offered and the expectant result of the trial, depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case.

Further, it is important to have a fair understanding of the law involved in an Abetment of 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 perform your own research and understand the risks involved and how you can overcome the same.

One must also be aware of the rights of a person if he/she is arrested under Section 306 for an Abetment of Suicide.

The rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution of India and even the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) have been stated below:

1. Right to be informed of grounds of arrest which has been made – Section 50(1) of the CrPC and Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India enforce this right.

2. Right to inform the relatives/ friends – Police officer making arrest has to immediately give the information regarding such arrest and the place where the arrested person is being held to any of his/her friends, relatives or such other persons as may be disclosed or nominated by the arrested person, as per Section 50A of the CrPC.

3. It is also the duty of the police officer to inform the person arrested of his/her rights.

4. Right to be informed of right to bail as per Section 50(2) of the CrPC. The arrested person also has a right to be released on bail, when arrested without warrant for an offence other than a non-cognizable offence.

5. Right to be produced before a magistrate without delay – It is illegal to keep a person in detention for more than 24 hours without the orders of the Magistrate as per Section 56 of CrPC. and Article 22(2) of the Constitution of India. Right of not being detained for more than twenty-four hours is also covered in Section 76 of CrPC.

6. Right to consult a legal practitioner – This right begins from the moment the arrest is made. It is required that the arrested person should contact his lawyer without any delay. This right is also covered under Article 22(1) of the Constitution of India, along with Section 41D of CrPC, and Section 303 of CrPC.

7. Manhandling and Handcuffing – It is illegal to manhandle a person at the time of arrest.

8. Search of arrested person who is female – In case of a women offender only a female police can search another female. The search should be carried out in a decent manner. A male police officer cannot search a female offender. He can however search a woman’s house.

9. Also there exists a right to be examined by a medical practitioner.

10. Arrested person has a right to legal aid and fair trial. Article 39-A states that the government in an effort to secure justice should endeavour to provide free legal aid to people in need.

11. Right to remain silent is also an important right. This has been ensured in CrPC and even the Indian Evidence Act.

12. Right against Handcuffing and Torture.

13. If your personal items are kept by the police, you have a right to receive a receipt for the same so that you can take them later when you are released on bail.

If you have been accused in an Abetment of Suicide case and are preparing your version of events with the lawyer, it is important to be aware of the Attorney-client privilege. This means the statements that are made in confidence to the lawyer/advocate are protected. The attorneys are restricted to share this confidential information that the client shares with him/her. Therefore, being honest and open to your attorney’s questions is the best route of mounting a sound legal defence.

You can be assured of your privacy when using LawRato to find and hire expert criminal lawyers near you. LawRato’s 100% confidentiality policy keeps the client’s private information confidential to outsiders.

Consult: Top Criminal Lawyers in India



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 of Suicide. 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.

Being charged with false IPC 306 is not ideal for the falsely accused person as it can negatively impact their overall life including their status, social relations and job prospects. Therefore, consulting a professional criminal lawyer can help you effectively tackle the legal intricacies involved in a false IPC 306 case. Consult qualified criminal lawyers near you using LawRato and obtain quick and easy legal help anytime, anywhere.



LANDMARK COURT JUDGEMENTS RELATED TO IPC 306

  1. Harbhajan Sandhu v. State of Punjab and Anr (2022) -In this case, the court ruled that a mere appearance of a person’s name on a suicide note shall not make such person guilty of abetment of suicide. For the person to be held guilty under IPC 306, the court stated that the essential ingredients of IPC 306 must be fulfilled.

  2. Corroborative Evidence -The Hon’ble Supreme Court recently held that IPC 306 shall only be attracted when there is evidence to substantiate or corroborate (support) the existence of suicide.

  3. Exception to Abetment of Suicide -In the recent case, SC ruled that breaks ups are part of everyday life and a person advising their partner to move on and marry someone else shall not amount to abetment of suicide.

  4. Presence of Mens Rea -In the recent allegation case, the court ruled that mere allegations of harassment for loan repayment shall not amount to abetment of suicide under IPC 306 unless Mens Rea is present in such a situation.



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.

Making a thorough legal decision of hiring an experienced criminal lawyer can grant you a successful result as soon as possible in your IPC 306 case. Obtaining quick and easy legal has never been easier unless it is with LawRato. At LawRato you can find and consult experienced criminal lawyers near you, talk to a lawyer and connect with them within minutes. You can ask free legal queries using LawRato’s ask a free question service and get the best legal support for your IPC 506 case and many other legal matters.

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Legal Questions Answered by Top Lawyers on IPC 306


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FAQ's on IPC Section 306

Can bail be granted in 306 IPC?

No, there, is a statutory bar to the bail being granted to an accused unless his case is covered by the provisions contained in section ... India - Article 21- Petitioners in custody for a period of about 25 months - Whether petitioners are entitled to be released on bail ...

What is Section 306 of Evidence Act?

The Supreme Court observed that there must be evidence to substantiate the existence of suicide to attract Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (abetment of suicide). In this case, a chargesheet was lodged against the accused under Section 306 IPC. 13 Aug 2023

What is Section 306 of the CrPC?

306(4) CrPC | Approver May Be Granted Bail Before Completion Of Trial If He Complies With Conditions Of Pardon : Bombay High Court. 13 Nov 2023

What is the difference between 306 and 309 IPC?

Section 306 punishes anyone who abets the commission of suicide, while Section 309 punishes anyone who attempts to commit suicide.