Kumar @ Shiva Kumar vs State Of Karnataka 2024 INSC 156 :: [2024] 3 S.C.R. 329 – Abetment Of Suicide – S 306 IPC – Death By Poisoning

Indian Penal Code, 1860; Section 306 – to ‘instigate’ means to goad, urge, provoke, incite or encourage to do ‘an act’. To satisfy the requirement of ‘instigation’, it is not necessary that actual words must be used to that effect or that the words or act should necessarily and specifically be suggestive of the consequence. But, a reasonable certainty to incite the consequence must be capable of being spelt out. Where the accused by his act or omission or by his continued course of conduct creates a situation that the deceased is left with no other option except to commit suicide, then instigation may be inferred. A word uttered in a fit of anger or emotion without intending the consequences to actually follow cannot be said to be instigation – Caselaws discussed (Para 34-40) – There can be myriad reasons for a man or a woman to commit or attempt to commit suicide: it may be a case of failure to achieve academic excellence, oppressive environment in college or hostel, particularly for students belonging to the marginalized sections, joblessness, financial difficulties, disappointment in love or marriage, acute or chronic ailments, depression, so on and so forth. Therefore, it may not always be the case that someone has to abet commission of suicide. Circumstances surrounding the deceased in which he finds himself are relevant (Para 47)

Death by poisoning- In a case of death by poisoning, be it homicidal or suicidal and which is based on circumstantial evidence, recovery of the trace of poison consumed by or administered to the deceased is of critical importance. It forms a part of the chain; rather it would complete the chain to prove homicide or suicide. (Para 46)

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