Summary of Recent judgment

Case: Kumar Shiva Kumar v. State Of Karnataka

Date of Order / Judgment: 1st March, 2024

The Matter Heard by Bench: Justice Bela M. Trivedi and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan


In the present case, according to the Prosecution that the appellant/accused used to harass and tease the deceased lady to marry him. On the refusal of the deceased, the Appellant threatened her that if she did not agree to marry him, he would destroy the family of her sisters, outrage their modesty and would kill them. After she reached home, she informed her sisters about the incident over telephone. Thereafter, she consumed poison in the house, and consequently died in the hospital. The appellant/accused was convicted by the Trial Court for abetting the suicide of a woman. The same was upheld by the High Court. Aggrieved by this decision, the Appellant/Accused approached the Supreme Court.


Whether the Appellant/accused could be held guilty of abetting the suicide of the deceased woman?


The Supreme Court observed that “the Court must scrupulously examine the facts and circumstances of the case and also assess the evidence adduced before it in order to find out whether the cruelty and harassment meted out to the victim had left the victim with no other alternative to put an end to her life. It must be borne in mind that in a case of alleged abetment of suicide, there must be proof of direct or indirect act(s) of incitement to the commission of suicide. Merely on the allegation of harassment without there being any positive action proximate to the time of occurrence on the part of the accused which led or compelled the deceased to commit suicide, conviction in terms of Section 306 IPC would not be sustainable.”

The Court also observed that “The Court should be extremely careful in assessing the facts and circumstances of each case as well as the evidence adduced in the trial for the purpose of finding whether the cruelty meted out to the victim had in fact induced her to end her life by committing suicide. If it transpires to the court that the victim committing suicide was hypersensitive to ordinary petulance, discord and differences in domestic life quite common to the society to which the victim belonged and such petulance, discord and differences were not expected to induce a similarly circumstanced individual to commit suicide, the conscience of the court should not be satisfied for basing a finding that the accused charged of abetting the offence of suicide should be found guilty”


Thus, the Supreme Court did not find any evidence based on which the Court can hold the appellant guilty of abetting the suicide of the deceased.