Charges For Both Murder & Abetment of Suicide Cannot Coexist: Kerala High Court

Charges For Both Murder & Abetment of Suicide Cannot Coexist : Kerala High Court

The Hon’ble Kerala HC passed the order on Tuesday, highlighting that a person could not be charged for murder as well as abetment of suicide at the same time. The Hon’ble Bench underlined that the crime of murder and suicide, punishable under Sections 302 and 306 of Indian Penal Code, 1860 (hereinafter referred as “IPC”) respectively, were ‘mutually exclusive’ and could not coexist.

The Hon’ble Court pronounced the order in response to a revision petition led by a person whose wife had died by suicide in their home and suspected that she was allegedly repeatedly assaulted by the petitioner. 

The medical examiner who examined the deceased discovered that the death of the deceased was caused by the hanging as well as internal bleeding from the assault.

The Court explained that death of the deceased could be unintended or caused by murder or suicide. While Section 302 of IPC, 1860 presupposed an intention on the part of the assaulter to kill the victim, punishment for abetment of suicide unquestionably excludes homicidal death, the Court elaborated.

The Hon’ble High Court declared, “The offences punishable under Section 302 and Section 306 of IPC are mutually exclusive and charges under both sections cannot co-exist.” Although allegations under both Sections 302 and 306 could be framed in the alternative, they could not coexist, it was stated in addition.

Thereafter considering the evidence on record, the Hon’ble Court continued to direct the Hon’ble Trial Court to frame charges again after hearing submissions of the prosecution and the accused. The Hon’ble Court however, did not express an opinion as to which of the charges should be framed in the case at hand.