Judgment: Abetment of Suicide in The State v. Hem Karan and Ude Singh

The Supreme Court of India has delivered a significant verdict in The State v. Hem Karan and Ude Singh, emphasizing the abetment of suicide through continuous harassment. The accused individuals were found complicit in driving the victim towards suicide. This judgment marks a pivotal moment in the realm of Indian law, shedding light on the grave consequences of psychological torment. The verdict stands as a testament to the pursuit of justice and accountability in cases involving abetment of suicide.


  • The witness Smt. Krishna (PW-11) testified that her daughter, the deceased, had been subjected to continuous indecent behavior by the accused persons.
  • The accused, including Hem Karan and Ude Singh, addressed the deceased girl with disrespectful terms like ‘wife,’ ‘Chachi,’ and ‘Bohoria.’
  • Community members were aware of the accused individuals’ inappropriate behavior towards the deceased girl, indicating a pattern of misconduct.
  • The witness mentioned that the accused had a history of teasing and taunting the deceased, even during a previous land dispute.
  • The deceased had confided in her mother about feeling exhausted and disgusted by the accused’s taunts, indicating the mental distress she faced.
  • Despite the family’s knowledge of the harassment, no significant intervention was made, possibly due to concerns about the girl’s marriage prospects.
  • The witness highlighted instances where the accused verbally abused the deceased girl and disclosed that she had suffered a head injury due to an assault by Hem Karan in the past.
  • The witnesses acknowledged that the deceased had expressed thoughts of suicide as a result of the accused’s behavior, and her engagement being called off further contributed to her mental turmoil.
  • The witness affirmed the lack of action by the village elders or panchayat to address the accused individuals’ misconduct, suggesting a failure in upholding social norms and protecting the deceased girl.
  • The prosecution’s case emphasized that the accused were complicit in abetting the deceased girl’s suicide due to the persistent taunting and harassment she endured.
  • Trial Court found accused guilty of offence under Section 306 read with Section 34 IPC.
  • Accused were sentenced to 4 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 300/- each.
  • Trial Court rejected defense suggestions and upheld prosecution’s case of abetment of suicide.
  • High Court observed that the accused had consistently harassed the girl prior to the incident leading to suicide.
  • High Court reduced the sentence to 2 and a half years considering the 12 years of trial the accused had already faced.

Also Read: Balancing Justice: Case Summary of C.P. No. 16/2017


  • The court in this case is considering whether the accused individuals are guilty of the acts and utterances attributed to them.
  • If found guilty of the above, the court will assess whether these actions and words constituted insult, intimidation, instigation, or abetment of suicide.
  • The key questions in this appeal center around determining the guilt of the accused for their alleged actions and statements.

Also Read: Interpreting Section 14 of the 2002 Act: Equivalence of CJM and CMM


  • Deceased was depressed due to dropping out of studies and engagement being called off, not due to accused
  • Accused implicated due to previous enmity and past litigations, not actual involvement
  • No direct and cogent proof of accused abetting suicide provided
  • No evidence linking accused words or actions to deceased’s suicide
  • Witness testimonies considered hearsay without eye-witnesses
  • The respondent’s counsel opposes the submissions on behalf of the appellants.
  • The counsel refers to the evidence on record and the findings of the Trial Court and the High Court.
  • Depositions of witnesses, especially PW-2 and PW-11, establish that the accused insulted, humiliated, and harassed the victim continuously.
  • The actions of the accused led to the victim, an 18-year-old girl, committing suicide.

Also Read: Judgment by Supreme Court of India in M/s. Bhilwara Processors Ltd. vs. Department of Central Excise


  • The High Court has reversed the judgment of acquittal imposing a sentence.
  • The accused had actively tarnished the self-esteem of the victim, leading to suicide.
  • The accused continuously humiliated and harassed the victim, driving her to commit suicide.
  • The accused was below 18 years of age at the time of the offense, entitling him to the benefit of the 2000 Act.
  • The accused indulged in a series of intentional acts and utterances to instigate the victim to suicide.
  • The actions and utterances of the accused were calculated to drive the victim to suicide.
  • The accused were found guilty of abetment of suicide due to their continuous harassment and humiliation of the victim.
  • The victim committed suicide due to incessant humiliation and torment by the accused.
  • The accused’s deliberate acts brought the victim to the brink of helplessness and intolerance, leading to suicide.
  • The accused targeted the victim deliberately, knowing it would push her towards suicide.
  • Section 306 IPC seeks to punish those who abet the commission of suicide of other.
  • Abetment may be in (express) words or may be by (implied) conduct.
  • In order to prove abetment, it must be shown that the accused kept on urging or annoying the deceased until the deceased reacted.
  • The claim of juvenility can be raised at any stage by an accused.
  • Abetment involves a mental process of instigating a person in doing something.
  • In cases of alleged abetment of suicide, there must be proof of direct or indirect acts of incitement.
  • Instigation means to goad, urge forward, provoke, incite or encourage to do an act.
  • The Court must scrupulously examine the facts and circumstances before holding an accused guilty of abetment under Section 306 IPC.
  • There must be positive action on the part of the accused to instigate or aid in committing suicide for conviction to be sustained.
  • A reasonable certainty to incite the consequence of suicide must be capable of being spelt out for instigation.
  • In cases of alleged abetment of suicide, there must be proof of direct or indirect acts of incitement to suicide.
  • The concept of abetment in the context of suicide is crucial for establishing guilt in such cases.
  • Abetment of suicide is outlined in Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code.
  • The act of instigation is a key component of abetment of suicide, which involves provoking, inciting, urging, or persuading someone to commit suicide.
  • Instigating a person to commit suicide, engaging in a conspiracy for the act, or intentionally aiding in the act through actions or omissions are essential for abetment to be considered a crime.
  • Wilful misrepresentation or concealment of material facts leading to someone causing or attempting to cause an act falls under instigation.
  • Actions that facilitate the commission of an act can also be considered as aiding in the act.
  • Harassment of a deceased person by another individual is not sufficient for abetment unless the accused’s actions directly compel the individual to commit suicide, and these actions must be close in time to the suicide.
  • The offence of insulting the modesty of a woman is detailed in Section 509 of the IPC, involving words, gestures, or acts intended to insult a woman’s modesty.
  • Understanding the scope of the term ‘abetment’ is crucial in cases where accusations stem from the acts and words attributed to the accused.
  • The penalty for abetting suicide can lead to imprisonment for up to ten years and a fine.


Case Number: Crl.A. No.-000233-000233 / 2010

Click here to read/download original judgement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *