Sushant Singh Rajput case: ‘Active instigation a must to prove abetment of suicide’ – Times of India


MUMBAI: After the AIIMS medical board chairperson said on Saturday that actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death was by suicide, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will, in all likelihood, continue to probe the case for abetment allegations.

When it comes to abetment of suicide, legal experts point to Supreme Court rulings that have held circumstances and evidence are crucial to prove a person actually instigated another into taking his own life. In the absence of a suicide note, the task is even harder. The mere mention of a name in a suicide note, though, does not establish abetment, the high court of Punjab & Haryana had held in 2018.

Forty days after his son’s death on June 14, Rajput’s father had filed a first information report in Bihar against actor Rhea Chakraborty and her family members, accusing her of abetment of suicide, among other offences.

On August 19, the SC had transferred the probe to CBI. Till then, Mumbai police was conducting its inquiry into a case of suicidal death under Section 174 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

In a ruling, the SC has said, “A more active role which can be described as instigating or aiding the doing of a thing is required before a person can be said to be abetting the commission of the offence under Section 306 of the Indian Penal Code”.

In a 2009 C K Chopra versus Delhi case, the SC had held in an abetment, a person “instigates’’ others and by his acts creates such circumstances that the person who is dead “was left with no other option except to commit suicide”. The SC said, “To constitute instigation, a person who instigates another has to provoke, incite, urge or encourage the doing of an act by the other by ‘goading’.”

The SC bench of Justice D K Jain and H L Dattu had also said, “What is the cause of suicide has no easy answers because suicidal ideation and behaviours in human beings are complex and multifaceted.’’ It said, “Different individuals in the same situation react and behave differently because of the personal meaning that adds to each event, thus accounting for individual vulnerability to suicide. Each individual’s suicidality pattern depends on his inner subjective experience of mental pain, fear and loss of self-respect .”

On Saturday, advocate Satish Maneshinde said, “We, on behalf of Rhea Chakraborty, have always said that truth cannot be changed under any circumstances.”

Maneshinde said, “I have seen the statement of the doctors from AIIMS concerning the SSR case. The official papers and report are only with AIIMS and the CBI, which will be submitted in court once investigations are over. We await the official version of the CBI. We remain committed to truth alone.’’ Rhea had said she left Rajput’s home on June 8, a week before he died.



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