Actress Tunisha Sharma’s friend Sheezan Khan arrested in abetment to suicide case.


What is ‘abetment of suicide’?

  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860 makes abetment of suicide a punishable offence.
  • Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) prescribes either a jail term of up to 10 years or a fine or both.
  • If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide shall be punished with imprisonment of either imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine,” Section 306 reads. Generally, the fine is paid to the kin of the deceased.
  • The IPC also has a separate chapter on abetment and describes who is an abettor under Section 108.
  • Abetment is defined as including instigating, engaging in a conspiracy or assisting in committing the offence.


How serious is the offence of abetment?

  • Abetment of suicide is a serious offence that is tried in a Sessions court and is cognizable, non-bailable and non-compoundable.
  • A cognizable offence is one in which a police officer can make an arrest without a warrant from a court.
  • A non-bailable offence means bail is granted to the accused at the discretion of the court and not as a matter of right.
  • A non-compoundable offence is one in which the case cannot be withdrawn by the complainant even when the complainant and the accused have reached a compromise.


Is abetment of suicide the same as murder?

  • No, it is not same as murder. The Supreme Court clarified this issue in 1997 in the case of ‘Sangarabonia Sreenu v State of Andhra Pradesh’.
  • Despite the intention of the accused to drive a person to commit suicide, abetment of suicide is not the same as murder.
  • In the case of a murder, the final ‘act’ of causing the death of a person is committed by the accused, which is not the case in abetment of suicide.