Indian Penal Code (IPC)
Section 306. Abetment of suicide
If any person commits suicide, whoever abets the commission of such suicide, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
CLASSIFICATION OF OFFENCE
Punishment—Imprisonment for 10 years and fine—Cognizable—Non-bailable—Triable by Court of Session—Non-compoundable.
Abetment of attempt to commit suicide
(i) It has been held that once the offence of abatement of committing suicide is clearly made out against accused, despite the fact that specific charge under section 306 was not framed against accused, would not preclude court from convicting accused for offence found proved; Prema S. Rao v. Yadla Srinivasa Rao, AIR 2003 SC 11.
(ii) The basic constituents of an offence under section 306, are suicidal death and abetment thereof; Sangarabonia Sreenu v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997) 4 Supreme 214.
(iii) To attract the ingredients of abetment, the intention of the accused to aid or instigate or abet the deceased to commit suicide is necessary; Pallem Deniel Victoralions Victor Manter v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997) 1 Crimes 499 (AP).
Sec. 302 and Sec. 306 – Basic distinction
Two offences under section 302 and section 306 are of distinct and different categories; Sangarabonia Sreenu v. State of Andhra Pradesh, (1997) 4 Supreme 214.
For offence under section 306 the sentence may extend to ten years. In case the husband is found to have harassed his wife to such an extent as to drive her to commit suicide, sentence of five years would be proper sentence for the crime with the amount of fine of Rs. 20000 to be paid to the parents of the deceased; Prema S. Rao v. Yadla Srinivasa Rao, AIR 2003 SC 11.
The ‘suicide’ is stated to mean as the intentional killing of oneself.
As per Concise Oxford Dictionary, 9th Edition, p. 1393
A finding of suicide must be on evidence of intention. Every act of self destruction is, in common language described by the word ‘suicide’ provided it is an intentional act of a party knowing the probable consequence of what he is about. Suicide is never to be presumed. Intention is the essential legal ingredient.
As per Halsbury’s Laws of England, Fourth Edition, Ninth Volume, pg. 686.