Mere drinking can never be an abetment for a person to commit suicide: Bombay High Court

Drinking cannot be an abetment for a person to commit suicide was decided by the Bombay High Court through Justice V.M. Deshpande in the case of Ramrao Kisan Rathod v. State of Maharashtra (Criminal Appeal No. 391 of 2015)


The judgement of the Additional Sessions Judge, in which the appellant was found guilty of an offence punishable under Section 305 of the Penal Code, 1860. It was said that a charge was prepared for an offence punishable under Section 306 of the IPC, and the appellant rejected the accusation. A suicide note was also discovered during the inquiry. Because the deceased was 16 years old at the time of the suicide, the charge was changed to one punishable under Section 305 of the IPC during the trial.

In the current case, it was stated that the appellant, the deceased’s father, was an alcoholic who used to dispute with his wife and maltreat his three children when under the influence of alcohol.


Based on the facts and circumstances of the case, the Bench stated that the only difference between Sections 305 and 306 of the IPC is that Section 305 is a punishing section for abetting an insane or a child, whereas Section 306 IPC is a punishing section for the accused who aided any other person to commit suicide.

The parameters for deciding the fact under Sections 305 and 306 of the IPC, according to the Court, are similar. The bench noted that while the prosecution’s argument was that the deceased used to pursue his studies, there was no evidence on record that the deceased was ever deemed unsuccessful in any of his academic years.

Furthermore, the Court stated that simply because the deceased committed suicide by writing a note mentioning his father’s drinking habit cannot be considered an abetment, especially when the prosecution evidence failed to show that the deceased was subjected to ill-treatment at the hands of the appellant while under the influence of liquor, which drove the deceased to take the extreme step of his life.

As a result, the High Court determined that the Lower Court’s Judge was misled by the deceased boy’s suicide for an accepted stance that the appellant was an alcoholic.


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