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Abetment of suicide of a person (Section 306 of IPC)

In Tej Singh v. State [AIR 1958 Raj], encouraging a widow to commit sati has been held to be abetment of suicide under Section 306.

In Brij Lal v. Prem Chand [AIR 1989 SC 1661], a husband persistently demanded money from his wife and quarreled with her everyday over the same thing. On the fateful day she reacted by saying that death would be better than that state of her life.

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He responded by saying that he would feel relieved if she died that very day. She set herself afire immediately thereafter. The Supreme Court held him to be guilty of instigating her to commit suicide.

The following are not abetments:

1. Immorality of wife, is not considered for abetment

2. Demand for to provide money to provide a job does not amount to instigating suicide

3. The publication of a defamatory article against the victim is not abetment

4. Failure to provide plot after taking money was not sufficient for satisfying the ingredients of Section 306

5. Abetment to commit rape is not abetment and there was no punishment under Section 306 because the incident of rape itself could not be proved.

The punishment for abetment of suicide of a minor or insane person under Section 305 is death or imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, and shall so be liable also to fine. The punishment for abetment of a person under Section 306 is imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.

Offence under Sections 305 and 306 is cognizable and warrant should ordinarily issue in the first instance. It is non-bailable and non-compoundable and is exclusively triable by the Court of Session.

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