Sushant Singh death: Abetment case more of nuisance value
Sushant Singh death: Millions of Indians were shocked by the apparent suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput. As videos emerged after his death, the shock grew into disbelief. And as bollywood conspiracy theories around nepotism floated around, the disbelief has turned to rage.
Sushant Singh Death: What are Mumbai Police saying?
According to a Times Now Report, Sushant Singh’s Viscera report rules out Murder.
What is a Viscera report?
Viscera report is a study of internal organs (Post Mortem) – Heart, Lungs, liver, pancreas, intestines etc.
While a Viscera report alone cannot be used to come to the conclusion if it was a murder, in conjunction with other evidence, it can be used to rule out or confirm if it was a murder case. An earlier report confirmed that Sushant singh died due to suffocation and asphyxia.
Purely from a court perspective, the Police will have to provide a lot of evidence to prove it is a murder – Fingerprints on his neck, information about people coming and out at the time of the death and motive.
So with little evidence supporting a Murder, the only case left is one of abetment. Yesterday, Sushant Singh’s father filed a case against Rhea Chakraborty for abetment of his suicide.
This case has a lot of nuisance value and has low probability of success. Courts are extremely careful with Convictions related to abetment.
Sushant Singh Death: Why abetment would be difficult to prove
Some examples form Vakil Number 1
S.S. Chheena vs. Vijay Kumar Mahajan and another- In this case, the Supreme Court made some remarkable observations on law pertaining to abetment of suicide under Section 306 of IPC. The Court ruled that:
- Abetment involves a mental process of instigating a person or intentionally aiding a person in doing of a thing.
- Without a positive act on the part of the accused to instigate or aid in committing suicide, conviction cannot be sustained.
- There has to be a clear mens rea to commit the offence.
- It also requires an active act or direct act which led the deceased to commit suicide seeing no option and that act must have been intended to push the deceased into such a position that he committed suicide.
Gurcharan Singh vs. State of Punjab– In this recent case, the Apex Court observed that the basic ingredients of Section 306 of IPC are suicidal death and the abetment thereof. To constitute abetment, the intention and involvement of the accused to aid or instigate the commission of suicide is imperative. Any severance or absence of any of these constituents would militate against this indictment.
Remoteness of the culpable acts or omissions rooted in the intention of the accused to actualize the suicide would fall short as well of the offence of abetment essential to attract the punitive mandate of Section 306 of IPC. Contiguity, continuity, culpability and complicity of the indictable acts or omission are the concomitant indices of abetment. Section 306 of IPC, thus criminalizes the sustained incitement for suicide.
It is clear that courts are looking for really specific, actionable evidence to prove abetment. They are looking for deliberate thinking and action which is not easy for Police to prove. As of now the Sushant Singh death case has little evidence to support an abetment case.
At the end of it all, the main problem is that many on Social media (and locked indoors) are simply unable to understand the state of mind of depressed people. The assumption that a death of this nature cannot be due to depression and has to be external factors may be true in some cases but cannot be applied to all cases without evidence. Now the pressure on Mumbai Police has increased. A Police force which could be better used to investigate and prove numerous new and genuine cases has to instead deal with unfair public pressure.